Last Saturday morning I captured and set free a dove trapped inside the high ceilings of my apartment. It took sometime and persistence with sheet throwing, showing remarkable ingenuity on my part to trap it with minimum force. As I held it in my hand one of its wings became fully extended, tensed from her electrified fear of all that must be unknowable.
Here is a photograph of the dove just before my many attempts to capture her with a sheet began.
That same Saturday in the afternoon, a small type of passerine collided with the windscreen of my car. Note: I have looked through my birds of Australia book to see if I can remember what bird it was to no avail. "Passerines" is a collective term.
In the rear view mirror I saw her mate flying over and around her as she was lying flat on the bitumen. I returned and parked my car, exited and picked her up. I felt the tremor of her beating heart and her beak was wide open with terror. I placed her on the glovebox inside my car, and in the time I was taking to figure out what to do with her, she ruffled her wings and began to fly off the glove box and around the car. I pushed the electric window knob down. When she flew out the window she was joined by another bird, her mate I supposed, and they flew and swooped and turned and danced around the hibiscus bushes. I did not think that such a contrived happy ending was ever possible, but my heart soared to the tune of a Disney musical, and I felt the contrived innocence of a snow white.
This morning I went on my balcony to check below on the roof rack of my car. There was the third bird of my weekend adventure perched on the roof rack wire. I saw her last night as I was leaving my sister's home where we celebrated Mother's Day with our mother and her mother-in-law. During our dinenr, I shared with all the story of the two birds thus far.
As I was leaving later in the night, my sister pointed her out perched in the dark on the roof rack of my car, and I remarked how uncanny that I have a third bird to finish my story.
I drove off thinking it will fly away in the breeze. I parked at my place and she was still there. I woke up and checked to see if she flew off overnight, to my surprise she was still there. Before I slept I searched on line for possible answers on whether these bird encounters heralded divinatory messages.
Here is a photograph of the tiny passenger last night:
I collected her in the morning and placed her in a shallow box. I tried dripping water into her beak from the tip of my forefinger. She squeaked with an inability to spread her wings out to fly. Sometimes she swallowed. I tried to drink my coffee and read the morning news but her squawk interrupted my morning routine.
Here is a photograph of the bird in the cardboard box:
I took a video of her inside the box, imagined it on a loop on a large flat screen or projected on a dark gallery wall and mooted over the ethics of making video art of this nature. I imagined the title on the exhibition explanatory panel. The artful flights of fancy of a fickle artist. I will post the video once I figure out how to upload it.
After calling an animal rescue hotline I dropped her off at the nearest vet.
In the form I was required to state the type of bird it was and the exact location found. I wrote: This little pee wee was found on top of a car perched on a roof rack on Trower Road Nakara. Incidentally, and embarrassingly I must admit that I asked the vet nurse to tell me what type of bird she thought this was.
On the form I also added: Nearby on the footpath on which my car was parked I noticed an adult bird dead on the ground. Lifeless. I did not think to take a photo of this bird. I never imagined then I would need it as a pic to end a blog post with.