The unexpected guest arrived early in the evening. We neighbors gathered to watch the spectacular moon come up. And there was our guest, tormented by two loud, chirping birds.
Our guest sat quietly next to the hedge along the porch. Two wide-open eyes did not move. It made not a sound.
One by one a neighbor stopped to watch the moon.
“Leave it alone. It is dangerous with long sharp talons,” None were in sight.
“Give it water. It’s dehydrated.” How do you do that?
“Its mom is watching. She’ll take care of it.”
“Feed it. It’s hungry.” How?
No one tried to help it. Just gave good advice.
“Call the Tucson Wildlife Center. They will know what to do.”
In time, a large white van arrived. The driver hopped out, pulled on a pair of long leather gloves – long, up to the shoulders – approached the quiet ball of fur, attempted to pick it up. It fluttered and opened two huge wings – wings that fluttered but did not fly. She picked it up to put it on a tree branch. The plan was the mother would call it up, branch by branch.
That didn’t happen. The little owl flew up onto the roof where it was last seen. Gone it was at 7 in the morning.
What a place to live and share with wildlife – wildlife that was here first. The unexpected guest stayed too long but didn’t say goodbye. It hasn’t been seen since.