goldfinch - Egils Zarins photo

As I watched the

Egils Zarins photo

goldfinches at our feeder today something in the next yard startled them. They spurted up and away in various directions. One unfortunate flew toward me and hit the glass of the atrium door, bang! She landed a foot away, wings and tail splayed on the new snow, each feather arrayed in perfect order. She was sitting up, looking to the left, breathing rapidly. But she was motionless.

I waited. She did not move. I went to find Egils and his camera. She still hadn’t moved. So, I went outside and picked her up. She did not struggle. I cupped my hands around her and brought her in where it was warm. A goldfinch weighs almost nothing. She was smaller than a sparrow. One feather was loose and dangled over her eye. She seemed comfortable in the warmth of my hands, almost sleepy.

After ten minutes or so, she looked more alert, though still calm. I brought her back outside and lifted my hand from above her. She sat, nested in my palm. Some noise startled her. She flew off, toward the trees.

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