Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pygmy Encounter

Sitta pygmaea
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

While responding to an e-mail a few minutes ago I heard an all too familiar 'thunk' against the upstairs window behind me. Aware of what had just happened I ran downstairs to find this juvenile Pygmy Nuthatch, upside down and barely conscious, lying on the front porch.

I quickly picked it up, worried about sending it into deeper shock, as I looked for a safe place to put it, where hopefully, it might regain its senses. The stunned bird kept looking back up at the window, beak wide open as if in disbelief, or maybe trying to comprehend what had just occurred, and yet it seemed indifferent to my handling of it.

By the time I took this picture of the nuthatch, perched on my left fore and index fingers, it seemed to be regaining a bit of cognizance and equilibrium. It could stand up again, and grip fingers

I walked it out to the big rock birdbath, and, as I was trying to gently set it down near the water, it gave me one last look, and then flew confidently off to the upper branches of a nearby Jeffrey Pine.

A happy ending, this time, but we've lost more than a few birds to window collisions.

This near-tragic incident was also a rare opportunity to get very close to a juvenile Pygmy Nuthatch, so do yourself a favor. Enlarge the picture and enjoy the depth in that dark little eye, and the intricate beauty in those still developing feathers.

How fortunate we are to live in a world populated with so many beautiful creatures, and how fragile the whole thing is.

Canon S5IS - Manual Mode - Super Macro - f/2.7 - 1/60 sec - ISO 80

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Blogger Tabor said...

Thanks so much for sharing this little treasure. I have a mentally challenged cardinal that has fallen in love or hate with his reflection in our windows. He wakes me up many a morning as he attacks the glass.

2:45 PM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

Oh, what a picture.

At Mom and Dad's there was a juvenile barn swallow that seemed to be missing something in the learning process. Dad watched it fly into the same window three times within a short period. Later they found one, possibly the same bird, bedraggled from an encounter with the dog, but still upright and ready to go. Fragile, yes, but resilient, too.

8:42 PM  
Blogger platespinner said...

beautiful. as is the indian blanket w/bee.

8:56 PM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

thankyou for sharing the 'pygmy', its beautiful, I hope its retained the information that glass is bad for birds.
love the bee picture, I just bought a gailarda from the garden centre so i hope it flowers brightly and feeds many bees.

2:59 AM  
Blogger roger said...

looks like a tiny reflection of the photographer in that eye.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

A double gift -- a great photo and an excellent story.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, I loved this quote: "How fortunate we are to live in a world populated with so many beautiful creatures, and how fragile the whole thing is."

This is a beautiful little guy, the nuthatch you wrote about. I am glad he came through his window encounter okay! I spent the larger part of this morning watching the baby bluejays eat the peanuts and sunflower seeds I put out for them. There are now *15* bluejays eating at my feeders, since the babies have sprouted little feathers. It is interesting to watch them develop.

I am glad there are people like you who care as much about these critters as I do! Thanks for another lovely post. Kathy in Kentucky

7:24 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Glad to hear the bird made it through. It makes me so sad when birds collide with windows. I enjoy watching them up close, but it is just heartbreaking when they get injured. What beautiful and delicate creatures they are.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Electronic Goose said...

What a beautiful bird. Thanks for the picture.

6:05 PM  
Blogger David Edward said...

beautiful, Jim. remind me to tell you about Venus and the stunned sparrow, some time.... hehehe

9:02 AM  
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10:40 PM  

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