In a bluebird nestbox by Geepop's grave, a bluebird pellet. A hard beetle elytra (wing cover) encased in indigestible bugbits. This is not a dropping, but a regurgitation event. Just like owls do, so do bluebirds make pellets of things they can't digest and pass any other way.
Judging from the gabillion questions I get on Facebook, there are a lot of such weird bird goings on this year. Abandonments. Disappearances. Piercings. Things like that. I'm saying "I dunno" a lot.
It seems that this is the spring that I realize that having almost 3K friends on Facebook has become an actual, demonstrable liability. That many people translates to a lot of questions. A lot of requests for help with baby birds, bats, injured wildlife. What do I do? Should I remove the nest, throw out the cold eggs, feed the baby bird? What do I feed it? How often? Where do you get the food? How do I find a rehabilitator near me? How do I keep this baby bird away from my cat? Can you take this baby robin? How do I keep finches off my hummingbird feeder? How do I keep woodpeckers from pecking holes in my house? Where are all my hummingbirds? My husband sprays our lawn. Will that hurt my bluebirds? Would you take this for me? It's hurt and I don't know what to do. Ack. As if the phone ringing all day long weren't enough, there's now a fountain of Facebook and email messages, too.
I'm not a veterinarian. I don't run a wildlife rehabilitation center in my spare time. I never did. I can't fix snapped bones, suture wounds, put broken turtles back together. I can't take wildlife in when I'm traveling constantly. Even if I weren't traveling constantly, running a wildlife rehab center is not my career objective. It's not even close to my idea of fun. I would love to pass the job of Sole Owner and Operator of Wildlife Problems Hotline to someone else. It was a job that came by default, by putting myself out here as some kind of factotum, I guess. By having this presence, this Googleability, by showing myself feeding bats and festooned in fledgling birds. And as anyone could have predicted, it's gotten way out of control, because one person can only do so much all at once. So I'm left with answering what I can. It all takes time. It goes back to everything happening at once in spring. Thousands of things, tugging at my sleeves all day long. My things, their things. Everything. All needing attention. If I sit down, something might die. I'm chuckling as I write this, but it feels all too true.
Sorry for the rant. I get frustrated because I can't help everybody at the level they want me to help, and this time of year my heart gets run over about ten times a day, along with the turtles and the birds. The guy from Athens who called and left a message about a cat-grabbed hoary bat with a broken wing, and then never returned my call. The baby hawk wandering around a front yard. Should I just shoot it? the wildlife officer asked. Umm...no? Return call. Please don't shoot it. Call me back...The turtle found in pieces in West Virginia. They all haunt me.
I think about disappearing. I do, each morning...Changeable weather, changeable skies, and my running route is never the same from day to day. I love it because it's empty but for Chet and the birds and the occasional deer bounding across the road. I can hear myself breathe.
Healthy bluebirds, who lift my heart:
Doesn't cut worth a darn, usually wilts like wet tissue paper when put in water. A mandala rose, meant to be loved while alive, I guess.