Thump, Flutter, Gak

I looked up from the computer, wondering about the “thump.” Then I saw the robin on the patio — fluttering wings outspread, struggling to get up.

Outside, through the gate, into the side-yard. “Are you okay?” I asked reflexively.

She wasn’t, at least at first. Her beak and eyes were wide open, and she was panting — or do robins always breathe that way? She seemed dazed but unhurt (no broken legs or anything), so I sat down next to her and babbled softly: “You poor thing. We’ll get you fixed up, give you some nice worm broth and pyracantha cobbler,” etc.

After about ten minutes (during which I wondered what I could wrap her in for transport to the local bird-rescue center), she closed her beak and blinked at me. Then she stood up, wobbled, and hopped away.

“Good! You’re okay!” I said, relief warming me more than the chill morning air. “But can you fly?”

She flapped her wings a couple of times, then rose from the patio and soared across the creek. I don’t think she saw the hawk. It took her in midflight and a cloud of feathers, with no sound but a faint rustle.

Gak.

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