It's been the hottest Jan 1st on record in Melbourne Australia.
All day we've heard a bird calling out. We traced the sound to inside an internal wall.
Howard bent some aluminum into a flat scoop shape, nailed it onto a 4' pole then went up into the roof space. It was as hot as a sauna.
He reached down into the wall cavity, scooped the bird up and handed it to me. I held it gently, cupped in my hands. The bird didn't seem injured but was very still, as if in shock.
I struggled down the ladder holding the bird. While I waited for Howard to get a small box, I realized my pulse rate was soaring. I sat down focusing on my breath which became slower and deeper as I calmed down.
Then the bird started trembling as if it was thawing out from the shock (a natural response to trauma or extreme threat). I stayed 'present', as if meditating.
I continued to just notice each moment as it emerged: noticing my breathing, my emotions, noticing my shifting responses to the bird.
This means I didn't think thoughts about what to do, I just stayed focussed on the present moment, the feeling of what was happening, moment by moment.
I do the same thing when I am with a distressed person. The theory is that both people become calmer through this non-verbal contingent communication.
After a minute or so, the baby bird stopped shaking and without agitation, started calling out again, like it did when it was inside the wall.
As I put the bird into a small box lined with paper towel, I placed his feet on my finger. The bird grabbed it like a perch which means it's a fledging - a bird just learning how to fly.
We took it outside and placed the box up high, out of reach of any cats. The mother bird started responding to it's calls and flapped around excitedly. We left them alone for 10 minutes.
When we went back to check the box it was empty and there was no sign that the fledgling and fallen.
Even if it had fallen, it would have been a kinder death than keeping it inside the house in the box where it would have died slowly from starvation, dehydration and the stress of me trying to feed it.