Yesterday as Amy was leaving to go pick up Eli from school, she ran up and told me to come quick she needed my help. Being a wonderful husband I quickly ran down to lend assistance for what I thought my be changing a flat tire, or jump starting her car. The problem I faced when I arrived on scene was a frantic robin hopping around between the grill and radiator of Amy's car. She informed me she had hit a bird while coming home from the grocery store, and miraculously it had squeezed through the impossibly small opening in the grill and had become trapped between the radiator and grill, where it traveled 20 miles before arriving at it's new home. There was virtually no opening for the bird to escape, and after pulling on the plastic underside of the bumper, I was able to push the bird out with the handle of a rake thinking this would free the bird and it would fly off to live a happy life. Unfortunately the bird was exhausted and had a broken leg, and after flitting a short distance collapsed in a heap on the ground. I quickly scooped it up and placed it in a pet taxi gave it some water and a few worms. The worms have disappeared so I guess it is eating, and now I suppose I need to devise a splint to see if it's leg can heal. What a waste of time to save a robin you might say, and normally I would agree, but don't pass judgement until one day the miracle robin of spring comes knocking on your grill.
I am a self-proclaimed bird nerd, and here at Sunburst I have catalogued around 80 species of birds on our property alone. Spring is a great time to see migrating warblers (or at least hear them), and marks the return of many birds that raise their young in the Ozarks. Last summer we had a pair of Summer Tanagers, Orchard Orioles, and Bluejays all nesting at the same time in a single white oak tree in our front yard. Some of the common birds of summer we see here at Sunburst that might be of interest include indigo buntings, blue grosbeaks, and eastern kingbirds (these are usually seen at the top of the hill sitting on the fence as you drive in). We occasionally see yellow billed cuckoo's, road runners, and all kinds of woodpeckers including the pileated woodpecker which everyone enjoys seeing. These are but a few of the many birds we see along the river, the next time you are down floating or camping be sure to bring your binoculars, you will be amazed at what you see. For all you other bird nerds out there, if you are interested in a list of all bird species catalogued here at Sunburst drop me a line and I would be glad to send you one.