Adam started taking swim lessons a couple of weeks ago at a friend’s pool (and the fabulous teacher really has made a difference in his abilities and confidence). During the second evening, I was sitting with the other mom watching the boys when we noticed a little bird hopping around the pool. From the size of the feathers, it appeared to be a fledgling, and it seemed to have no fear of people. (It also appeared to be a bit short on common sense as well; it saw something floating on the surface of the pool and actually landed in the water; I thought for a minute that it was going to drown!). It would hop right past us, coming within feet of OUR feet. Adam went to scout camp and came back ready to take swim lessons the following week, but in the morning this time. During the first lesson, I noticed a little bird, bigger than the fledgling but still small, skittering around the edge of the pool. It came right up to me, stood at my feet, and cocked it’s head. It looked at me as if to say “Well? Whatcha got to feed me?”
I had nothing; poor little thing was sorely disappointed but kept coming back, “just in case”, I suppose. It literally came so close that I could have reached out and touched it; even the children running around didn’t rattle it. Over the next few days, I would forget to bring something for Birdie, but I noticed sunflower seeds and other offerings, so it obviously had gotten very comfortable with “working the crowd”. In spite of my continued failure to produce anything of interest, it still came up to me and cast a wishful eye on my pool bag.
Finally, on Friday, I remembered to grab a container of meal worms (we have a lizard. Don’t ask). I was afraid that Birdie wouldn’t show up; isn’t that the way it usually goes? But about halfway into the lesson; it came hopping out of the pine straw and into the covered area where I was sitting. I put down a meal worm, and it hopped up and grabbed it. After a few seconds of figuring out what it was, Birdie gulped it down and looked up for more. I put down several more, which were quickly snatched up, and saved the rest for Adam to feed the bird. When he was done with his lesson, he sat on the chair and held a meal worm in his hand. Birdie wouldn’t take one from me; I had to put them on the ground. But my little “bird-whisperer just made a clucking sound, and Birdie stepped right up:
There’s something very magical about having a wild creature trust you to the point of getting within “grabbing distance”. Birdie might not be the brightest bird out there, but it sure did make us all smile. I hope that nobody does anything cruel to this trusting little one; I’ll update if we see it again!