Well, that was a little over dramatic but as I was trying to get myself in order today, gathering the holiday remnants to stack on the dining room table to be put away for another year, there was a loud thump at the sliding door in the back. Kirby was a little distressed over it himself and started pacing frantically in his cage though the door had been open for him since I came downstairs this morning. (He is allowed to come out of his cage and sit on top when we're home, and now, since I am allowed to bend down, it is okay when I am home alone in case he takes one of his "There's something scary out there and I'm outta here" nosedives to the floor.)
There, in the light dusting of snow that we're getting right now, was a male downy woodpecker laying on the stoop in a stupor (sorry, couldn't resist).
My heart sunk as I tried to discern whether or not he was still alive. His beak moved a little and I could see him trying to lift his head but I wondered if he would recover or if the cold temp (20º) and his state of shock would get the better of him. Earlier I had been watching the birds at the feeder and had the camera nearby so I snapped some photos and whilst doing so, he picked up his head. (He probably saw me moving around inside.) I thought about going out and picking him up but then what would I do with him? I couldn't put a wild bird in the Kirby's cage with him and the last time I tried to rescue a bird it got loose in the bathroom and when I caught it, bit me in the neck. So I just decided to just keep an eye on it from inside.
I snuck around to the front of him and in these next two pictures, if you pay attention to the eye you will notice that on the second one he is using his third eyelid, or nictitating membrane which clears the lens in a horizontal movement and keeps it lubricated. (I really didn't know all that off the top of my head. I had to look it up. But now we'll all be ready for that question when it comes up on Jeopardy!)
I wondered how long he would sit there collecting himself or if a hawk might spot him and snatch him up for lunch.
As I sat at the table, catching up on some blogs, I was relishing the fact that it was so peaceful with the snow falling outside and the only sound was the frantic tapping of the solar snowman's arms like his heartbeat from an exerting workout or the ticking of a loud clock. Then there was a little bit of chirping outside so I stood up to check it out. It was a titmouse in the leaves behind a planter on the opposite end of the stoop, but it must have sparked some fear in the woodpecker (or maybe it was my shadow in the window) because he up and flew away. Thank goodness!
I was going to include the story of our New Year's Eve Meatloaf Cookoff but this is already too long so I'll save that for another day.