Poems first:

Rachel’s Day 23 Poem: Letter to the Grackle Dying in My Backyard
Rachel’s Day 23 Bonus Poem: Letter to My Girlfriend on Easter Eve (warning: the grackle makes another appearance)
Someone Else’s Poem: Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learned Astronomer”

This morning when I returned from breakfast with Donna and Jacob, we interrupted a pretty large group of birds from checking the yard for seeds leftover from the last time I filled the feeders (only a day or so ago). When the frantic flight had dissipated, we realized there was still one bird in the yard–this guy, who hopped away from us until he found some cover beneath the ground feeder:

It was clear almost immediately that something is not right there – his tail was hanging straight down with very little movement, and the feathers looked roughed up. He wouldn’t open his wings to full span. After some quick texting with my brother (who is a wildlife biologist and has spent the bulk of his life, from about 5th grade, studying birds), he advised that “the prognosis is not good,” and suggested I leave him be rather than attempt a rescue. Sad. Grackles are beautiful, if a bit noisy and greedy (like people). The adjective “gregarious” is often applied to them.

Advertisements