so this is the story as told by joel: a flicker, it hits a window like so many birds do and falls to the deck at austin's place on the slough. this flicker is a magnificent brown and grey woodpecker with black spots and bright redand yellow details. anyways, austin wasn't sure what to do with it, and didn't know if it was injured or not, so he brings it to his neighbor joel. joel makes up a travel case with suet and worms and towels and lets the bird be, hoping for the best, dreaming of a full recovery. soon, it seems like the flicker is ready. joel takes it to his farm and opens the cage. she flies! up and away, in the direction of the big old oak tree. suddenly, bam! a coopers hawk dives down from above and takes hold. feathers fly, "noooooooo!" screams joel, arms outstretched, the scene playing out like a slow motion movie. the fearful howl startles the hawk enough to let go, he drops the flicker and joel swiftly puts the bird back in it's small sanctuary kennel.

joel told me the story, and i came to see the bird in his studio. its eyes were electric and it was snuggled in the back corner of its box, away from my curious human eyes. i promptly went home to research the food of woodpeckers. with a long sleek pointy steel beak to hammer holes in trees, i knew instinctively the diet consisted primarily of insects. i flipped over every rotten piece of wood i could find, scraped the bugs off into a jelly jar, grabbed a decaying branch for atmosphere, and headed over with my offering.

i collected food twice over the last two days, to add to the offerings joel provided. and today, just moments ago, joel decided the flicker was ready. we all gathered round, salty old dana with his eye patch, perched like a captian on his deck, overseeing the whole matter. joel opened the door...nothing. "give it a kick, joel," dana remarked. so joel rustled the box a bit, and out flew the bird, all the way across the slough and met by a fellow flicker. magic. i slapped five with joel, and we all reveled in the bird calling out and hopping from ground to branch, trying out its rusty wings for the first time in a couple days.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Meade

1 comment:

  1. i once watched a coopers hawk eat a bird in my backyard- i was enthralled. raptors are so damn fast i've never gotten to see one that close-up for so long. after it left there wasn't enough left of the victim to figure out what kind of bird it was.