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A Bird in the Hand Story of the Hawk and the Kinglet

A Bird Rescue Story

We heard the familiar crash against our dining room window and our son, Nikolai rushed to see if a bird had hit and fallen.

“Guys… COME QUICK… it’s a PREDATOR!!” Hissed Nikolai. I say “hissing” because he was using the really loud whispering sound people use when they need to whisper but with urgency… projected in a stronger hissing sound to get the volume and convey the urgency.

I jumped up from my desk where I was working and joined Nikolai at the window.

There on the bird seed littered deck was a bird we had never seen that close before… just sitting on our deck.

Living in the woods as we do, we get the occasional bird crashing into our glass windows. Fortunately, most fly away, unharmed except perhaps their ego, such as the cardinals that were picking a fight with their own reflection. Some fall stunned, and we’re able to nurture them by holding them in warm hands until they recover enough to fly off. One, with a broken wing was taken to a nearby vet that takes in injured birds for free to help them recover and then release.

A few, don’t make it at all. Unfortunately, suffering a concussion or broken neck. For these, we shed a tear, mourn their passing and bury them.

In this same month of December, we were able to rescue two birds: a cardinal and another lovely bird new to us: a golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus Satrapa.

A Sharp-Shinned Hawk with a titmouse in its clutches
A sharp-shinned hawk (aka Sharpies) with a titmouse in its clutches, as it surveys a nearby golden-crowned kinglet. “A bird in hand…”

Well, the crash against the window sound we heard was too small to have been this huge hawk, so what was it? Well… there, only about 4 feet from the hawk was a downed golden crowned kinglet, stunned but alive, as it sat on the deck recovering from its crash.

You could see the hawk deliberating. “I’ve got this bird in my talons, but there’s another bird, right there.” The Hawk’s head bobbed down and to the left where the kinglet sat. Before I could stop him, our son, Nikolai, protector and destroyer all in one, burst out of the door screeching his favorite wild creature screech. It so startled the hawk, that he dropped the dead titmouse and flew away.

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

So… that hawk, trying to get two birds, ended up with none. Now I say that Nikolai rushed out before I could stop him, because I would’ve had him go out quietly enough that the hawk might just fly away with his titmouse prey intact. As it is, his headlong rush, cause so much commotion that all the hawk could do was flee.

Of course I was in favor of saving the kinglet, but felt bad for depriving the hawk of his meal… and thus rendering the lost life of the titmouse as useless.

But such are the lessons of life.

Meanwhile, the kids and I all got to hold the precious golden-crowned kinglet, who seemed totally unafraid and in no hurry to leave. Such a beautiful, delicate, gentle bird, he stayed with us for around five minutes or so, recovering but then also eyeing us curiously before deciding to finally fly off.
Golden crowned kinglet, rescued from a predator after crashing into our window. Image by
Golden crowned kinglet, rescued from a predator after crashing into our window. Image by
Golden crowned kinglet, rescued from a predator after crashing into our window. Image by
Golden crowned kinglet, rescued from a predator after crashing into our window. Image by

And so goes a somewhat happy ending. Not for the hawk or the titmouse, but definitely for this lovely little kinglet.

Meanwhile, we’ve written about our latest strategy for preventing the birds from flying into the windows they most often hit and you can read about our simple homemade solution in this article, where you can also see the video closeup of one the the cardinals we rescued.

I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.

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