Friday, September 20, 2013

Warning: Contains photo that may distress you

Years ago, an exquisite woodpecker bashed itself against my window, and I picked it up and put it in the trash.  Ever since I’ve regretted doing that – wished I could look at the lovely creature again. So when a little puff of a wren met with disaster, I picked up the tiny brown ball of feathers, put it in a Ziploc bag and stashed it in the freezer.  The birds started to accumulate, and I had no idea why I was keeping them.  Just couldn’t bear to treat them as garbage. 
And then the other day a newsletter from the bird folks at Cornell featured a new exhibit of photographs by an artist who lives, it turns out, just a few blocks from me.  He seems to work with dead birds – and he came over this afternoon, just left toting an insulated bag.  There's an empty space in the freezer.
That red isn't blood; it's red feathers.

I ask you -- If you’d picked up that lovely yellow and black warbler, could you bear to dump it in the trashcan?

1 comment:

  1. And here I've always thought I was going to get arrested someday for practicing voodoo without a license, because I regularly save chicken and beef bones in the freezer for making soup stocks. I believe you've outdone me.

    But, seriously, it's an interesting idea for us amateur birders. On Labor Day 2012, I found a dead bird that looked to me like one of those confusing Empidonax flycatchers, but I couldn't figure out which one. I respectfully interred it in the compost heap (my usual practice with deceased wildlife), but maybe if I'd saved it in the freezer, someone at Cornell could have identified it?