Red the Blind House Finch

One day, many years ago, while at the computer, a blood-curdling scream which, for all the world, sounded like that of a human infant in great distress, filled the room.  Walking toward the window it became clear the sound had come from a House Finch on the floor, gasping for help.

Picking up the little guy it soon became evident the bird was totally blind.  The tip of his upper mandible was broken off which probably happened while foraging for something, anything, to eat.

Now, House Finches are not tame in the manner of parrots.  When healthy, they are fidgety and quite fearful of humans.  However, like all of us, they know their friends.  Blind Red was in big trouble, and he wanted to live.  He must have had a terrible time before arriving at the open window and landing on the floor.

The first order of business was to hydrate Red.  He didn't resist being picked up.  Just as humans in distress don't resist the emergency help but rather surrender to the those attending, Red, who when young and healthy wouldn't have permitted being handled, totally surrendered to being cared for.  At the sink, a spoonful of water was offered Red.  He was parched and drank a lot of water.  Then when offered seeds, he ate and ate until it seemed he would burst.

After he ate and drank his fill, a small cardboard box containing a paper towel cushion was offered to Red.  He immediately fell asleep.

As the days and weeks went by, Red became stronger.  He was generally in good health.  By keeping his bed, food and water in the same place, he learned where to find things.  Gradually he became part of the family.  He enjoyed his daily exercises such as walking carefully from one finger to the other as seen in the above picture.

Red stayed around for close to a year.  One night he died quietly in his sleep.  Red is a fondly remembered friend.

© City Birds Multimedia

Return to Featured Birds by City Birds