Tales from the Bird Sanctuary: Rescuing a baby flicker

Today as I was out doing my landscape maintenance for the bird sanctuary, walking on the path which goes around the water feature, which is only half full this time of year as I prepare to drain it for winter, I saw a baby flicker sitting on top of the drainage pipe. I set down my bucket and stopped to have a better look at him, expecting him to fly away as soon as I approached. But he didn’t. Instead, he just sat there, staring back at me, holding very still.

Now I have wondered through the trees on my property for over an hour, trying to get a picture during mating season, when the trees were filled with flickers and the air was filled with mating calls, only to hang my head on defeat after concluding I wasn’t going to get close enough for a good shot of any one. That’s how skittish flickers are, so the behavior of this little guy was unusual, to say the least.

The fact is, the little guy was scared, and I realized that his tail was in the water, which could hinder flight. He was stranded, too scared or too wet to make an attempt at a getaway. He just sat there staring as I got closer, providing some great photo opportunities. I didn’t want to frieghten him even more by obliviously clicking pictures, so I set down my phone and got down on my knees at the pool’s edge. I reached down very slowly and placed a gloved hand around his body. Trying not to scare him more, I reached over with my thumb and stroked his little feathered head a few times, hoping to let him know that I was trying to help and meant no harm. Even through my garden glove I could feel the softness of his feathers. He hardly weighed aything at all as I scooped him up gently and released him onto the ground, where he flapped his wings and hopped off into the trees, reinforcing my suspicions that the wet feathers was what prevented him from flying off like I expected.

I tried to follow him just to be sure he would be able to fly once he dried, but I lost him in the trees. Had I not stepped in. I have no doubt that he would have sat helpless on that drain pipe until a coyote or other wildlife snatched him away. It was a satisfying feeling to know that I had helped one of my little bird friends and had at least, offered him a chance to survive.


For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.


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15 Comments on “Tales from the Bird Sanctuary: Rescuing a baby flicker”

  1. HI Kaye, how wonderful that you were able to save this little bird. I found a baby in our garden last year. It had fallen out of the tree while learning to fly and my cat was on the prowl. I managed to keep it safe and eventually it flew up into the tree. It is wonderful to save a bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joy gerken says:

    Lovely story. I noticed the robin who as soon as I went into the garden began hoping about looking for the worms after the soil was turned over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joy gerken says:

    I love to watch all the birds come and go to and from our bird bath. They fascinate me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Willow Croft says:

    Yay for bird rescuers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nancyloswald says:

    Kaye, I love your bird posts. Thanks for this one. Have a happy Thanksgiving. Nancy

    On November 21, 2022 5:00:30 AM Writing to be Read

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    Oh, what a wonderful story. You saved a life. Way to go, Kaye!

    Liked by 1 person

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