Today at work I was training the other Admission Office student worker on how to give tours. It was going great: the sun was shining and, at 80 degrees, it was finally starting to feel like summer. But when we were walking toward the library I heard some robust peeping and caught a flicker of movement over to my right.
Two. Baby. Birds.
I flipped out. “Where is your home? Where are your parents?” I asked them, even though they were birds and couldn’t very well answer me. “We have to do something.”
My co-worker also ogled at the sight of the baby birds, but said that we should probably just leave them alone. I wasn’t convinced. Then I spotted another student worker pull up between the library and Bates Hall in the service center van and rushed over, asking if he had any boxes we could use to put the birds in. However, after some further brainstorming and convincing by my coworkers, we decided to head to Gerstacker, one of Hiram’s science buildings, to speak with a professor about what to do. She said to leave them alone but to perhaps call the field station, which takes care of all manner of forest critters and is always around to help with lost or injured animals.
We walked past the birds again and I looked back forlornly as they huddled in the shade against a low brick wall near a light post. We finished the tour and arrived back in the Admission Office. I couldn’t stop thinking about the birds, though. I decided to call up the field station and I was informed that a couple of field station student workers would be coming out in a bit to check things out. Student workers to the rescue on Hiram’s campus today! Now I could rest assured that the birds were going to be taken care of.
Actual depiction of me thinking about the birds.
Except I couldn’t. So I walked over to the library to check on them once my shift was done. I was upset when I got there because I only saw one of the baby birds; the sibling was nowhere to be found, so I can only hope that its flight capabilities miraculously developed and that it flew off to birdy paradise. I sat on the low brick wall and kept my eye on the remaining baby. At one point it started peeping excitedly and hopped out of the shade to greet a bird that I assume was its mother. Mom gave her baby some food before she flew away again.
Then it got tricky to keep track of the little dude. He kept hopping all over the place in the grass and mulch, trying to figure out how to be a real adult (which I could totally relate to). Another bird was watching from the trees and landed nearby. He had red feathers on his head and looked quite different from the baby, so when he approached I got nervous because I wasn’t sure if he was going to hurt the baby. I was totally ready to fight a bird. But it turns out it was Dad! He also gave the baby some food before flying away.
Finally, the student workers showed up and took a look at the baby, who was now frolicking in Hurd Garden. Together we decided that — since the bird didn’t show any signs of being injured, had most of its flight feathers, and had supportive parents who were still feeding their kid even though he left the house — it would be best if we let him be. I’m still nervous for the little fella, just like any parent would be. Yes, all I really did was stare at him for a half hour and probably made him incredibly nervous, but isn’t that what parents are for?