My Gentle Wings

My gentle wings have never felt the blanket of night.
Or the bitter stinging wind encumbering my flight,
The silent ache of hunger and the panic of despair,
As predators and dangers are hiding everywhere.
You love and protect me, and care for all of my needs.
With every fresh cup of water and new bowl of seeds.
But if I were just a wild bird and lived out of doors,
You would no longer be there to love me anymore.
What then would I wish for?

     

Perhaps softness for my nest, a few pieces of hay,
Or a tiny bit of sunshine on a wet stormy day,
But if I was thirsty as hot summer baked the flowers,
I would wish for cool water from a gentle rain shower.
My babies are chirping, some berries would be nice,
Evergreen branches during the snow, sleet and ice?
Those cats keeps lurking about it's hard to ignore.
Maybe some new neighbors in the cottage next door.
Now where can I hide? Not a single birdhouse in sight.
Doesn't anybody care about a wild bird's plight?

   

I'm hungry as I search for some insects or seeds,
But I don't see any gardens, just highways with weeds.
As the shadows start to cast their dark eerie spell,
On a row of sunflowers, pesticides taint the smell.
My little bones are throbbing from flying all day.
No place to rest, the trees have been taken away.
Wake up dear Mama Bird, wake it's only a dream.
Your lady person is here, you don't have to scream.
I gaze out of the window, and see it's almost night.
The doors are now locked, I'm safe and all is right.

   

For me it was a dream, but for wild birds it's real.
I see sparrows and cardinals looking for a meal.
There is that sneaky cat, crouching low in the grass.
She crawls slowly with stealth as the birds try to pass.
To a new redwood feeder the birds fly up to eat.
The cat walks away confused by this glorious defeat.
Now golden stars above that I see twinkling bright,
I make this wish to you upon your sparkles of light.
Please let every bird find a safe, loving home and be,
As protected, well cared for and cherished as me.

     


by Eleonore McCaffrey
Dedicated to Little Tiki, the baby mockingbird that touched my heart and died after being pounced on by a cat. She spent her final 13 days of life being loved and handfed by me, under the supervision of a licensed wildlife rescue center. I took care of this angel that my cat brought into the house. I have no idea how long she was in my house before I spotted her underneath a radiator. She was a gentle bird, greeting me with soft chirps every time I passed by her, or while hiding underneath my hair or cuddling under my chin. She seemed so affectionate and tame for a wild bird, accepting me as a mother bird substitute so readily.Tiki was active and eating every 2 hours the first week, showing no signs of injury. She then started to become weaker and symptoms of internal injuries appeared. We knew that she would soon be leaving us. The morning that she died, she hopped onto my hand and grabbed my lip with her tiny beak, as she always did when she wanted her feeding. She became weaker and lost the strength to finish eating or stand. I watched the life being drained out of her little body as each minute passed by. She took her last breath cuddled under my chin.
Please don't forget about our other little angels in disguise, the wild birds. Plant a tree, shrub, garden or deck planters. Plant a bright red flower on your deck to attract the hummingbirds. Put up a birdhouse. Even an old boot with a hole cut in the middle and nailed to a tree works well. If you live in an apartment with a balcony, you can still put flowers, birdhouses and feeders up on the rails. Save all of your lint from the dryer, and string that gathers on the wheels of your vacuum cleaner. Scatter it outside or hang in mesh bags during the early spring to help the wild birds build their nests. A bird makes thousands of trips back and forth when building a nest.
If you can't afford wild bird seed, bake corn bread, or cut up stale dry bread and toss it outside for the birds.  Put a nail on your deck rail, and use it as a skewer for apple or orange halves. Hang a suet bag out for birds during the cold winter months. Purchase pieces of meat fat  and tie it in the net bag that onions come in. Birds need the fat for energy during the winter. This will attract woodpeckers and other unusual birds. Pinecones coated with peanut butter, then rolled in some birdseed or crushed cereal are a welcome treat for wild birds during the winter months. Kids enjoy making them too. String popcorn or cheerios to hang on the trees for the birds. Plastic gallon milk containers with a hole cut in the middle make inexpensive feeders to hang from trees. Be imaginative when looking for ways to feed wild birds.
Birdbaths and water are needed during the winter as well as the summer months. An old Pyrex dish, the bottom tray of a flowerpot, just about anything can be placed on your deck as a source of drinking water. When your garden dies in the fall, leave all of the flower heads and vines up until spring. It's a source of food, and nesting materials for birds. I leave the old flowers in the flower pots on my deck then cover them with Christmas lights during the holiday, It's pretty to look at, and the birds eat the seeds from all the marigolds. Most of all, put a bell on your cat and check the labels of all pesticides that you use outside. Use these products with care to protect our wildlife. Check out my links for some sources on how to help wild birds survive.

 It is illegal, in many states,to keep a wild bird in your home unless you are working with a wildlife rescue center. If you find a baby bird that is fully feathered, leave it alone unless it is in eminent danger of being attacked by another animal. Most full feathered babies out of the nest are learning to fly and the parents are taking care of them. If the bird is very tiny and has few or no feathers,put it back into the nest. There is a wild bird website on my links page that explains exactly what to do if you find a baby bird.




     





   



Java Script Courtesy of
Dynamic Drive


Song is Marble Halls by M.W.Balfe,1808-1870
Performerd by Enya, Sequencer Unknown



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