in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

trapped hermit thrush

Thursday, March 17, 2005
walking into the art institute building, there is a 2 story window made of reflective glass, which reflects the trees and sky of Grant Park. today as i was coming into the building, i walked past the window. no dead birds, a good thing. BUT. just past the window is a recessed concrete wall, with a low-overhanging (FUGLY) concrete ceiling, creating a sort of alcove with a gravel patio. God knows what the architects were thinking. in any case, in the alcove i spotted a tiny HERMIT THRUSH, hopping desperately along the full length of that recessed wall. At first i hopefully thought it might be collecting nesting material, but no. It was trying to solve the conundrum of the recessed area surrounded by what it thought were trees. i dont know if it had already collided with the window, but i watched it for a few minutes, and then flushed it back to a small group of trees, where it hopped almost right up to my feet. i called the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors team, and left a message. Then i went into the building. An hour later, i came out to find the same bird hopping on an embankment near the reflective window. As i watched, it flew into the window and hit it. It hopped back up to the embankment, tilting its head quizzically and pitifully. I really wish i'd had a camera, so i could show the footage to the Vice President of Operations who assured me yesterday on the phone that she cared about this issue, but that "nothing was planned" for mitigating the bird collision problem at that window during this heavy migration season. I chased the bird off to a nearby grove of slightly taller trees, in hopes that it would see over the building and fly away. But I did not stick around to see the conclusion.
5:39 PM :: ::
  • That is sad, but you did the best you could do for the poor bird. At least that one had a chance to make it.

    By Blogger Eva, at 8:51 PM  
  • this story reminds me of my mother. when i was a kid, my dad painted the driveway black with sealant which made lots of things visible...so that he could better "obbsessively" clean and sweep the driveway to his content. but one thing that was unbearable visible for my mother were the worms after the rainstorms. i remember walking out to the bus stop and my mom is out there in her PJ's with an umbrella picking up all the worms and throwing them to the grass and saying "God Bless You" to each one. Very strange it seemed to me as a kid, but now that I look back, she's just simply HUGE hearted. Just like you.

    By Blogger shellie, at 8:32 PM  
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