Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)

A Brown Creeper

Friday was a beautiful sunny day and in the afternoon a friend of mine and I decided to sit for a while on the north side porch of Whitney Center. I find the chair most comfortable and the foot rest allows me to keep my feet elevated, but by 4:30 there was a chill in the air and we decided to return to our apartments. When I looked on the floor I saw what I took to be a crumpled dead leaf or a piece of brown paper. When I dutifully went to pick it up it hoped away. It was a bird, a young bird, who could not find its way to the open sky. As I tried to catch it  would fly against the large window, then sit down in bewilderment. I finally cornered it and with both hands outstretched I caught the bird. The warmth of my hands and the gentle stroking of its head and back quieted it down and it snuggle up peacefully. I carried it to the edge of the balcony, opened my hands, and it flew away,

I had never seen such a bird and looking it up in my field guide of birds I found that it is a brown creeper, which should be on its way to Florida at this time of year. This is the description: "It is a slim well-camouflaged brown bird (no wonder I mistook it for a brown leaf) much smaller than a sparrow with a slender long curved bill."  It is a beautiful bird, with white stripes on its wings. I hope that it will find its way to my window feeder in the winter should it miss the flight south.


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