If anyone follows this blog, I just wanted to post in case they thought that the reason for silence is a dead bird. It isn’t – at least not on my watch.
After multiple self-referential attempts to contact a wildlife rehabber, I realized I was wasting my time. Then came the 4th of July. I wrote the post below, then went on my usual walk to the dog park with my dogs and the bird. I felt the resonance with the other birds. Looking down on the river, I noticed for the first time a mama duck proudly displaying her large brood of ducklings.
Then, as I walked down the sidewalk, I watched another starling hop from one tree to the next, as if leading us. I put the bird in her usual berry tree outside the dog park, while I went in. I could see the tree from where I was in the dog park, but, I did also notice that, because it was the 4th, there were a lot of cars parked outside and people picnicking. Anyway, there was a white minivan parked just high enough to block my view of the actual bird. So, then while I chatted things up at the dog park – the theft happened. My dog Spin, who has never had direct contact with the bird or seen her, nevertheless understood that what was in the basket was something to be protected. He raced a few hundred feet to the gate, as the person got in the minivan and drove away. I, not quite as quick, later caught up with him, and observed the nest still there.
When I returned with the bird in the basket, however, I later discovered that it was not “my” bird. This one was slightly older (by maybe a day), did not know any of the things that I had taught it, and did not respond to calls. As I walked back from the dog park, not yet putting what happened together, the other birds were absent or silent. I was a bad mom – I had let the baby be stolen.
So, lest anyone accuse me of paranoia, let me put the scenario together. At the grocery store, where I found the bird, I had tied my 2 dogs out, to go inside and get food. There was probably a cam, someone put the little bird there, and a couple went by with a stroller, while I later untied my dog, pointing the little bird out to me. Not knowing what to do, and not finding a nest, I pick the bird up and put her in a container to try to solve the problem. The bird survived – despite the odds (they usually don’t), and the next day I made several unsuccessful phone calls to try to locate a wildlife rehabber. They needed money or with wanted me to drive to Milwaukee with transportation I didn’t have to put the bird in a starling nest with no mother. I gave up. So, on the 4th of July, the humane society (probably called about the dogs that were tied up outside the grocery store – therefore their “legal” claim to the bird), and later unsuccessfully called by me looking to rehab the bird, issued a “911 bird rescue on the 4th of July”, and came to reclaim the bird, placing another one in the basket so that I wouldn’t suspect it had happened.
Realistically, this was probably what needed to happen for the development of the bird. The bird needed to be around other birds. Rationally, I had been trying to figure out my options – a wildlife refuge probably wouldn’t welcome european starlings – they are considered nonnative, and are not federally protected. Getting another bird for companionship from a pet store, did not seem like a very attractive possibility to me either…I was financially already at my limit.
So the question is why am I not allowed to have any voice in what happens? Why is every solution to every problem in my life forced upon me? As in rape. They could have asked. We could have had a discussion.
Someone has declared/profiled me as psychotic. So, for a very long time, life for me has been about not getting anything that I want, or ask for. Emotional subjugation. There has been a lack of respect for not only my privacy, but also, my personal freedom. “I” don’t exist.
Could I be a black man after slavery? Could I be an undocumented worker? Could I be a potentially powerful sexual woman in a culture that does not give them a voice except as a mother? Could I be a transgendered or gay child/person whose every expression of love is considered “wrong” and “corrected” in a straight culture? Or maybe just a voice too angry to exist in even one of the most pluralistic and open societies in the world?
I first thought the bird theft might have happened through PETA or ALF, but I don’t think so anymore. I now believe it was the police…and I feel very emotionally manipulated.
So, here I am with yet another dependent bird, not the same one, by now it has been swapped out a few times. I no longer care about its gender, or really anything else, except the fact that because it can’t feed itself, I have to feed it and try to release it.
So the savvy reader will ask: why did they care enough to replace the bird with another one? I’m guessing that this one, was less imprintable, at a different developmental stage. And then, of course, there are always those who deliberately provoke things so everyone lays their cards on the table, and information is revealed. I don’t think it was quite as obvious as say a faked assault in progress at the mall where the cops get called so they can flush you out as a witness forcing your appearance in court so they can ask you what you were doing at the mall (looking for leftovers), or a traffic accident deliberately staged for you to witness while you were panhandling, or for that matter, a dog released into the street deliberately so that you would kill it.