Felicia is a Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler 20110311

Pine Warbler 20110311 (Photo credit: Kenneth Cole Schneider)

The weather is gloomy, rain comes in showers, thunder now barely audible as it travels West. Thud, thud. What was that? I swung around and stepped to the large, glass, double-door in my office. It has to be a bird!

On the ground, a tiny figure with colorful feathers lies motionless. The cat! Where’s Charlie?  Inside. That’s good. Main Coons are great hunters. Lucky for my feathered friend it was raining. Coons—all cats—prefer dry homes to wet forests.

One wing is spread open as it covers most of the bird. As I pick it up, its heart beats rapidly and delicately against my palm.

Very dazed.

I coo, “Are you okay?” No answer—what did I expect? Around me a dozen or more ‘yellow’ birds hover and flit from branch to branch. “Your friend flew into my window. I’m so sorry.”

It silently opens and closes its beak. Its eyes do the same. It must have a painful head. I cover the poor bird with both hands as a precaution for panic or another fall. What can I do? The other birds are calling to their friend. I’ll help your friend! I’ll ice her little head to stop any swelling. Maybe that will help. Stay, don’t go away, we’ll be back. I step inside with the bird as Charlie steps outdoors. The bird doesn’t move. But she (I feel it is a she) is still alive. She opens her beak. Gasping?


My free hand rummages through the freezer, I settle for a small bag of ground coffee. It’s very cold, perfect as an ice pack for the bird’s head. After about a minute, I remove the pack and make my way back to the door. Oh darn! The others have gone. Did they give up on her? The bird opened its eyes wide and seemed to be recovering. I try my hand at bird calls. “Tweet. Tweet?” I can hear them in the distance. Are they watching? I open my hand a little more. The bird becomes excited and panics. I close my hand a bit and whisper, “It’s okay.” As I pat her feathers and head, she relaxes. I slowly open my palm again, she adjusts her foot, perhaps to be comfortable. Such tiny feet! Does she feel safe inside my hand, which provides a familiar cover from the elements?


After several minutes, the bird sits and is more alert. She watches my other hand as it moves. A mosquito finds my arm, she cocks her head to watch it bite. With a breath, I blow it away but it returns. I bring the bird’s beak to the mosquito to possibly feed her. Nothing happens. The mosquito is annoyed and leaves.

It is about fifteen minutes since the incident. I must either cage the bird or return it to nature. Perhaps a tree limb, away from Charlie. The cat! He is still outside! It has begun to drizzle again—he’ll come. I call, “Charlie! Kitty come.” Good, old Charlie comes running, unaware—I think—of the bird in my grasp. I step out, shut the door and whisper to my friend. I reach up high with palm open. She sits. “What’s the matter Felicia? Felicia means happy. You are a happy, little bird, able to fly thousands of miles with your friends. Felicia it is! So. Felicia, will you sit in the crook of this limb?” I gently move her tiny feet. I reach up high again to encourage her to climb into the pine tree.

I go now.

Felicia suddenly and smoothly glides down into the brush four feet in front of me. She is hidden by a blackberry bush and small saplings. I reach for my camera. As I stoop and focus, she busily scratches under her wing, flits back and forth on the branch, looks at me, then at the ground. She jumps into the deep of ground cover and away from my lens. No picture—can’t complain. We spent over fifteen minutes sharing a crisis, a moment and a recovery.

I hope Felicia will be okay. Will she find her friends? Can she call out to them? Not sure.

Take care Felicia. Come again on your next migration. Next time, a gentle tap, tap will do.

Charlie naps.



Inside, Charlie naps as I Google ‘yellow breast’ + ‘birds’. There it is! A pine warbler! And it is female! I knew it. That’s my Felicia!

Echinecia with Easel

Echanecia with Easel, painted in my studio.

This is a watercolor study painted in my studio.

Echinacea is Nature’s remedy for a cold or flu. It is also known as the Purple Cone Flower.

I believe most people are familiar with its tea, or extract. Whenever I feel the onset of symptoms for a cold or flu I immediately go to the fridge and take the extract. My husband warily acquiesced to my recommendation to take one dropper-full when he had a nasty cold. Within an hour he felt great.

For more information about the plant, visit The History of Echinacea.

English: Echinacea pallida, Asteraceae, Pale P...

English: Echinacea pallida, Asteraceae, Pale Purple Cone-flower, inflorescence. The plant is used in homeopathy as remedy: Echinacea (Echi.) Deutsch: Echinacea pallida, Asteraceae, Prärie-Igelkopf, Blasser Igelkopf, Blütenstand. Die Pflanze wird in der Homöopathie als Arzneimittel verwendet: Echinacea (Echi.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another site that is informative is The History and Traditional Use of the plant. This site will give your further information about herb and drug interaction, contraindications, etc.

Before you take any herbs, do lots of research first. Go to legitimate websites such as .org or .edu, which are there to give information. A .com site will most likely want to sell the product and give a biased recommendation of what is good for you.

If you decide to take any herbs, tell your Primary Care Physician. If you doctor doesn’t know about the plant, share your research and ask him/her to do research based on your medical history. Most doctors will do it. Ask for information in printed format for review. Seek a second opinion—visit a reputable naturopathic physician.

Hope this helps. Send a comment.