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Goldfinch in a Turtleneck

Saturday, October 7, 2017

I thought about how to wrap the goldfinch's hurt wing. I needed something that wouldn't stick to her feathers, but that would stay on her. I thought and thought. Finally I came up with an idea I thought might work. 

I'd take a finger off one of my little running gloves, the cheap kind I buy on the grocery store rack when I lose the last pair I bought. I'd cut a hole in it for her good wing, work that one out of the slit so she could use it to balance, and keep the bad right wing folded up inside the tube. It'd be like a sleeveless shirt, but with one wing kept inside.

Here's the wrap, with a hole cut for her good wing.

It was pretty easy to slip it on over her head. Then I worked her good wing out of the slit I'd cut. 
Such a good, placid little bird, just lying there, letting me do this ridiculous stuff to her.

She didn't need the turtleneck, so I cut that away.

She couldn't stand or perch because the wrap came down too far on her legs, so in the photo below I'm  cutting a sort of notch or delta out of it to give her little legs full freedom of motion. The beauty of the idea is that the good wing, coming as it did out of the little slit I'd cut, would keep the wrap in place, keep the bad wing folded at her side until the coracoid could heal. Or so I hoped. 

Based on how docile she'd been, I hoped that she wouldn't be inclined to mess too much with the wrap, which was likely more comfortable than the usual wrap.

The way she held her feet together, as if she were praying for a good outcome, melted my heart. 

I've had a lot of experience with goldfinch behavior and cognition this summer. It has to do with the Secret Studio Feeder I established for Jemima. Tufted titmice came in and stole all Jemima's pecans and chicken, so I bought them off with a bowl of sunflower hearts. Goldfinches brought their babies and parked there, eating. And lots of them came into the house through the crank-out window into the studio, because I keep the screen out for Jemima photography. I swear the same goldfinches came in day after day and had to be hand-caught and released. Didn't I just catch you yesterday, sir?

 Goldfinches may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they are among the sweetest. 

Next: What She Did.


Speaking of goldfinches, the weirdest thing happened this morning: I got into my car (which had been in the attached garage with windows nearly all the way rolled up) and found a dead goldfinch on the passenger side floor! For the life of me I can't figure out how it got there. We had gone out to dinner and the grocery late yesterday and noticed nothing amiss! Poor wee lass.

That's one tiny bird, never did it look so small until it fit in the finger of a lady's glove.

I am astounded by the good fortune of the birds that find their way to you, Julie. Of all the feet, in all the backyards, in all the world, this goldfinch flutters out from under yours. She may never know how lucky she is, but your readers know.

White? After Labor Day?

I can't wait to see what happens next with this injured, but lucky little bird. I love the idea of the glove protection. Her patience with all that was happening is quite lovely and interesting, and you are so kind and your touch so gentle.

Sew her a Goldfinger, Murr!

Wonderful Julie, in every way! ♥

I had to laugh, she looks so adorable in that turtleneck! Can't wait for the next installment.

Posted by Anonymous October 7, 2017 at 5:26 PM

You are one special lady!

Julie, you are the absolute best!!🤗🐤🏥🏪☀️🌙🆘️🙋‍♀️👍

Thanks for the sweet comments and especially the Bogartian line about all the feet in the world, Lynda. I don't think too highly of myself however. It was my unprotected tower window that felled her, after all. The least I can do is try to help. There's another juvenile goldfinch and a young male scarlet tanager lying dead on the roof right now. Unfortunately getting to that window to treat it is beyond my capability so here I am at the bottom picking up the pieces. No yays for me.

How clever you are! We put perforated vinyl on the outside on our Windows. We can see out just fine and the birds no longer hit the windows. We did this because a American goldfinch had hit a window and not survivex

What a cute goldfinch and so passive, waiting as you help her. I just think most animals KNOW when someone is trying to help them, such as when a whale or other ocean mammal gets tied up in fishing nets, lines and people go in and cut the material off of them.

Is there someone who could get to that window of yours and put up stuff so birds don't hit it?

Thank you for all of your good turns. I'm sure Chet would approve and be right there with you.

Very clever on your part, Julie. Good patient on hers. So sweet in that turtleneck! Oh my. And her clasped feet made me melt. Must share this post with my 90 year old mama who admires you and has a much interest in your good works as I do. It will make her day. Kim in PA

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