Sidewalk Nature: Fall of a Sparrow

Flattened fauna: book and bird

“The fall of a sparrow,” so I’ve heard, does not go unnoticed. Or in this case, the “smooshing of a sparrow” in the grille of a Toyota.

Actually, the smooshing did go unnoticed for weeks: until yesterday, when I happened to see feathers and a foot poking from the front of a van. After making sure the driver was out of sight, I gently jimmied the little bird free and popped her in a sack to take home. 

I tried to identify species, but the van had driven across the U.S. last month, so any sparrow from California to Tennessee is up for grabs.
And not surprisingly, the bird was not in what I’d call identifiable condition.

I won’t tell the driver of the van about the bird. She would feel bad about having caused a sparrow’s fall, and there is nothing we can do to prevent future collisions. Lately, I’ve been working to make my home’s windows safer for birds, but how can you strike-proof a moving vehicle? Different makes and models have a variety of front grille patterns, but if any pattern slams a sparrow at 65 mph, the bird is a goner whether she bounces off small vents or gets stuck in big ones. 

I’ve placed the sparrow in my personal boneyard, where at least her fall can feed someone. In the boneyard, decomposers are always standing by (crawling by), and would never let a providential meal go unnoticed.




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