At this time of the summer, 6 PM is the sparrows’ dinner time.
They pass the word around and fly by our front balcony all at once, enjoying the bird bath, the seeds of all kinds and the peanuts. If they’re too loud, I shush them once or twice, to remind them that we have neighbours, and that their chirpy chats could end up with us not feeding them anymore, if said neighbours complained about the daily gatherings.
Tonight, as usual, the flock was on time. I walked to the balcony door a couple of times, to check on them. At some point, I noticed something new.
Chéri, I said softly, come check this out!
In the net under our bird feeder, among our feathery little guests, one little fellow was just lying, his beak tucked under his feathers.
Look, he’s taking a nap… On the net!
That seemed incredible, knowing that when we installed that net (because apparently, too many seeds were falling on the downstairs’ balcony, according to our landlords), the birds were scared of it for weeks.
And there this little guy was, deep sleeping, while his friends and family were feasting all around him. We let him nap, for at least half an hour, waiting for the chance to go outside and clean up after our tiny friends.
That’s about when I took the above picture.
As you can see, everybody else had left by then. We gave Sleepy an extra twenty minutes, and then I got worried. For one thing, I thought, ”What if Sleepy is actually dead??” but that was very unlikely (or so I decided to think). But my true worry was that our little napper would wake up after sunset, and not know where to meet his fellow sparrows who are used to sleep altogether in unknown locations (at least to me).
I didn’t want to just open the balcony’s door, because I didn’t want to scare Sleepy away. But I quickly realized that he didn’t mind me opening the door AT ALL. I jumped on the ”dead” scenario again, but how could he have died there??
I reached out a delicate finger, and caressed the feathers close to his head. For a split second, he seemed to wake up, and stare at me, but just to give me a ”give me five more minutes, Mom…” look. Sleepy fell back asleep three or four more times, making me doubt that he was ok.
I finally thought I should try to pick him up. He he’d let me do it, that would mean that he needed help, and I’d find a way to help him (hopefully). But as I hoped, feeling my fingers curling around its tiny body, Sleepy realized that the nap was over, and he flew to te balcony floor.
Luckily, I caught that on video.
And you can watch it here:
Or if you want to watch it in a slightly edited version (read with nice Amélie Poulain Soundtrack music) click here.