As the little sparrows release date draws near slight anxiety is starting to set in. What will that day be like? Will she have a fighting chance against the predators in the wild? Will little sparrow be capable of finding her own food? Will she fly like a bird that was taught by experienced flyer's? I mean, I wont even fly in an airplane! This is the blind teaching the blind here! I have a lot of worries... I can only do my best and then she will have to do the rest. When you love something you must set it free.
My anxiety is well earned as I recall a similar release day just a few years ago. Sissy was about three years old. She had been playing out on the back patio. I had the screen door open while I was working in the kitchen. She came running into the house. "Momma, I found something big and wonderful", she said. I walked over to her as she made careful steps in my direction. In her hands was the rare majestic Luna moth. Its large lime green wings were a beautiful site.
"Can we keep it", she pleaded. I told sissy that she could not keep it at all, especially in the house. I gently placed the Luna into a wide mouth mason jar as sissy took off to search for the Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders. Even as early as three Sissy knew that this was indeed a moth and not a butterfly as she skipped right passed the butterfly section. Finally she found the perfect match... a beautiful glossy photo of a Luna moth. Sis sat next to me as we read all about the species. She was tickled pink to find something so beautiful.
Then I told Sissy it was time to let it go. We went outside to the corner of the driveway facing a large field with tall grasses. I gently threw the beautiful moth into the deep blue sky. Sissy and I stood there just absorbing the moment, watching this majestic creature take flight back into the wild. It truly was a heart felt special moment for us both...
In the midst of our awe and amazement out of the corner of my eye, in all my horror, I see a bird. Like a flash of lightening it just swooped down and gobbled up our moth! Right there in front of us! Just picture the scene from Madagascar with the crocodile and the duck! I shrieked and Sissy screamed out "that bird ate my moth"! Needless to say "Mommy was the evil villain that set it free... TO BE EATEN"
So yes, anxiety is well earned.
We are taking the sparrow out tomorrow for a test run. Although I am sure little sparrows release will be soon, I know that it wont be tomorrow. The Pin feathers on the left wing have not filled out completely (properly) and I am not sure how well she will due on her right leg. It is splayed which isn't from nutrition but was noticed the day we found her. I should know something very soon if our little one will be able to return to the wild or find refuge at the Wildlife Center. Ideally, I would love to see a little sparrow fly by and wonder if it is her or not but if that isn't possible, she would make a great learning tool for the refuge. Either way I hope our track record improves.