Yesterday when we returned home from our Canada Day celebrations in New Germany with G, DIL, and Miss M, we saw a bird struggling up the driveway. It couldn't fly and was hopping up the driveway. Miss M and I got out of the car to take a closer look, but I decided that things should be left alone and we continued our walk up to the house.
John and I were on our morning walk with the dogs to get the paper, and the bird was still in roughly the same location. We got the dogs turned around, and back to the house and then debated about what to do. Do we leave the bird in the driveway, or try to rescue it? If we can actually catch it, what do we do with it?
The decision was made, and we headed back down the drive in the car (we have a very long driveway) with a lidded storage bin and gloves. John stopped the car and I got out with my trusty gloves to see if I could catch the bird. I did catch him, and gently pressed his wings to his side. He wasn't happy, and was crying. I wasn't sure whose heart was beating faster...the bird's...or mine! We got him into the storage box and up to the house. I replaced the storage lid with chicken wire and put water in with him. The bird looked like a Northern Flicker to me, but I thought it was likely a female or young bird because the colouring was dull.
Many, many phone calls later I reached the Hope For Wildlife Society on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. Hope was very helpful and told me that Flicker fledglings get pushed out of the nest by mom and dad before they can fly. They spend a couple or few days on the ground, develop their flight feathers, and then go on their way. She said mom and dad were probably watching from a short distance away. I was briefly devastated...thought I ruined everything by taking the bird away. But Hope assured me that all was well...birds do not have a sense of smell and will not be rejected by the parents after being handled by human hands. She told me to put the bird back and keep an eye on it for a day or so. If it was still there after some more time, and unable to fly, they will take it in for rehabilitation.
So, off I went again down the driveway with the bird...gently tipped the box over and let him hop out. Fingers crossed that nature looks kindly on him and he learns to fly soon.