Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Caution: dead baby bird, but not gruesome at all

(I've put three photos at the very end of this post, so if you don't want to see them, they won't be in your face right away. But there's nothing gruesome or disgusting about them -- no bugs, no injuries, nothing icky.)

This morning I was outside playing with an old Lensbaby lens (Lensbaby 2.0). I haven't used it in years, so I put it on the camera and went out for a walk around the yard to see what I could find.

I photographed flowers, hostas, the driveway -- fairly banal stuff. But then remembered some flowers I'd found the other day, so was heading directly over to find them. I looked down and saw a baby bird that had apparently fallen out of a nest. Looking up into the trees, I saw no nest.

Was the bird still alive? He looked so fresh and new. I reached down. He was cold, but not stiff. I turned him over. There was a puncture wound of sorts and some liquid was coming out. No sign of life. I picked him up.

So tiny. So cute with a little tuft of fuzziness at the top of his head. My only camera was the DSLR with the Lensbaby on it, and a macro filter on top of that. So I held the bird in my left hand while shooting with the right.

A Lensbaby, especially the older version, is tough enough to manipulate with two hands; one-handed is a real challenge.

I took a few shots and then, bird in hand, went into the house to get my iPhone. Back outside to take a few more images. I set him back down in the leaves and the flowers, sorry to see what had happened to him, yet marveling at this little guy, looking very much like a plucked chicken, just a few days (I'm guessing) out of the egg.

We have lots of robins right now on the property, zooming all over the place. I'm thinking this was a robin and that some other bird, perhaps a Cooper's hawk, maybe an owl, got hold of this guy but had a tenuous grip and dropped him. Very, very recently.

I understand if many of you think these are disgusting photos. To me, they are astonishing, sad, yet miraculous. I feel privileged to have held him for a few minutes, so soon after he had moved on.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.


  1. What a lovely tribute to the baby bird. Thank you for sharing.

  2. It was an interesting event, Judy. All sorts of emotions all at once. Thanks for reading and looking. xoxo

  3. To turn away from this sweet baby, is to turn away from ourselves at our most vulnerable.
    Beautiful! Ann

  4. Ooh, Ann, you have a way with words. I, apparently, do not with birds.
    Carol (feeling Seussical) Leigh


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