little goldfinch

This morning a goldfinch flew with a thud into the glass of the sliding door, and lay still on the patio with one wing splayed out. I waited for her to recover herself and fly off, worried that a cat would wander through while she was vulnerable. IMG_2964When she didn’t move, I went out and talked to her, to ask if her wing was broken. Should I touch my wounded bird friend? It was the natural thing to do, to stroke her small body. After a while I tried tucking the wonky wing back in place, and it seemed to line right up with the other one. The bird was looking a little more alert after fifteen minutes or so, but when I tried to lift her on to her feet she stumbled.


I texted my friend Mrs. Bread, who I guessed had experience with wild animals like this – and also daughter Pippin, whose first animal-related job was working for the bird rescue center. Mrs. Bread said I should fix up a shoebox with soft materials and put the victim in it; that would help her to calm down.

So I prepared a box with a towel and some fine rice straw from my bale of mulch, and carefully set the finch in it, and on the patio table temporarily, while I went inside for a minute. From the window I saw that right away she hopped on to the edge of the box, and when I took my eyes off her to go back out the door, she had vanished. My box worked like magic!


This is the last picture I took, before I prepared the box. I am amazed at the details of her feathers, which I didn’t take in when I was with the real bird. I hope she is okay, and that she will be back taking a bath at the fountain tomorrow!

10 thoughts on “little goldfinch

  1. It’s always so painful when this happens. But they are resilient little creatures, and I’ve seen a good many recover and fly away over the years. I always travel with an empty box and some towels in the trunk of my car. I sometimes come across birds (or turtles, too) who need help to get to the wildlife rehabber in town, and being prepared does help.

    I’m so glad you took photos of this little one. Think of the stories she told her friends that night!


  2. Oh that photograph! I can’t stop looking at feathers and subtle colors and sheer beauty of the little goldfinch. I love birds and long to spot them and study them as closely as possible in the few moments I have them in my sight.

    Recently Hilary White had a hoopoe, unfortunately a dead hoopoe, killed by her cats, that she showed in video. What an exquisite creature! And sadly, it being dead provided the opportunity for close scrutiny. Check it out on Orwell’s Picnic. posted 5/23/16


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