Two weeks ago, one of my daughters and I went orienteering in the forest with a friend and colleague. While we were walking from one post to another, my friend found a little blue egg on the moss. It had been windy and rainy a couple of days before, so we thought it might had fallen from a nest.
We discussed what to do with the egg, and after some hesitation, we decided to take it home and try to see if we managed to hatch it. I packed the egg in some paper and put it in a little box I had in my backpack. When I got home and showed it to my youngest daughter, she asked why on earth I would take an egg home from the forest. It was a good opportunity to discuss what is right to do in a situation like this, and I confessed I didn’t know for sure I had done the right thing.
We checked online what to do, and the advice in Norway was very clear: let it be no matter what. We found a cardboard Easter egg from some years ago that we had decorated with some fabric inside, and we decided to put the egg in it to keep it warm. We placed it on the window where the sun heats the most in the evening while we figure out how to ‘help’ it.
While researching for what to do with the little egg, I found an article online where I learned that here in Norway, we are obliged to act when finding a wounded animal.
My friend followed up on the egg, and she sent us a good article with advice on how to find out if an egg is alive. We found out there was no bird in it. Maybe that was the reason why it was on the moss to begin with. I think we learned that we shouldn’t mess up with nature, most probably this egg would have become food for another animal if we had left it in the forest but we had good intentions.
Today, my daughters and I went to visit another friend who has a girl around their age. After dinner, my friend and I sat at their porch while the girls went out to play. After some minutes, my youngest and my friend’s daughter came back with a wounded bird. I don’t know much about birds, but I recognised it was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, and I could see it was badly wounded. Obviously, the girls wanted to ‘help’ it.
I was so thankful for having read the article two weeks ago about wounded animals! On one side, I had an ‘excuse’ to act as my friend wasn’t very keen to have the wounded bird on their porch, and on the other, well, I knew what I had to do. I called the vet and she gave me two options: either bring the bird to them or call the police who would put me in contact with the authority who takes care of wild animals. I chose the latter, and I talked with a man who to my big relief told me would come to see the bird within an hour.
He arrived, looked at the bird, listened to the girls’ story about how and where they found it. He told us it was a young bird, and that maybe the nest wasn’t far away. We walked with him around but it wasn’t possible to figure out where the nest could be. They usually nest in high trees, and there was no high tree around. They can sometimes find a whole on the wall of a house.
He took the bird out of the little cage the girls had put it in, and after examining it, he concluded that it was too wounded to try to let it heal. It had most probably hit a window or a wall and its skull was broken. He would take it with him and put it down.
I don’t know if it is age, or maybe the internal work I have been doing the past five years, but seeing this wounded bird really made an impression on me, and I was so thankful for having found the information about what to do just by chance when we found the blue egg. I am thankful for living in a country where there is a phone one can ring to get support to help a wounded animal out of its misery.
We could have chosen to leave the bird in the forest behind the neighbourhood, and it would eventually have died or been eaten by another animal. I know this is the cycle of life, but helping a sentient being out of its suffering felt more natural. A life is a life. We all wish to get some help when we are in pain.
Here’s some gratitude for knowledge that comes randomly and turns out unexpectedly useful. Gratitude also for life, peace and joy while it lasts. May we all find support when we hit the wall.