February 20, 2006
A few days ago I spotted a Goldfinch that was seemingly stuck on the ground out back. After determining that it indeed was unable to fly, I brought the poor thing inside to recuperate and regain its strength until it was ready to return to its natural, free state. Based on the lack of yellow feathers in the throat area, I would say it is probably a female or a first year "adolescent." Little by little, it started flying again, to the amusement of Princess and George, who were very curious. Today the Goldfinch became quite anxious at seeing its own kind at the feeder just outside the window, calling repeatedly and flapping all around, so I finally decided to let it go. It quickly flew across the yard to the upper branches of a nearby tree, so I assume it will survive -- as long as there are no hungry hawks in the neighborhood, that is.
"Born free, as free as the wind blows..."
UPDATE: For us folks in the Lower 48 states, it's a special treat to see a Bald eagle. Even so, our National Symbol has recovered sufficiently over the past thirty years that it will probably be taken off the list of "threatened species" in the near future. In some parts of Alaska, meanwhile, Bald eagles are so abundant that they are considered annoying pests by local residents! See Washington Post.