Steller's jays are frequent visitors to our feeders, but last weekend one of our usual guests was slightly... unusual. Sporting a blue dart straight through his neck, I immediately christened him "Frankenbird." We laughed about it, since he seemed to be a perfectly normal steller's jay in all other respects.
Never having seen a dart in a bird before, I did some research, and as could be expected, the results were saddening. This is not the first time a bird has been found injured or killed by a blow dart - news stories reported that birds in Central Park in New York and other areas around the U.S. have been targeted in the past.
Nature is oftentimes as brutal as it is beautiful, and humans contribute their fair share to the equation. Instead of letting sadness or anger rule the day for this fellow, I am simply glad that I am a witness to his life, however long or short it may be. I believe that all things have their time and place, and I'm grateful to have had a glimpse of Frankenbird's.