A small dead bird was on my door mat this afternoon, presented almost as if it was a gift. I had hoped she was still alive when I picked her up, but her eyes were lifeless and her feet were curled up towards her heels.
I took her inside to check her out. While I don't know for sure, I think she died from flying into one of my windows.
She was about the size of a wren or chickadee, but I didn't know what kind of bird I was holding. Her colors were muted, dominated by browns and blacks, so I assumed it was a female. The most telling mark was a bright gold patch at the base of her body, right above her tail. This yellow dollop made her really easy to identify (with help from Peterson's Guide Book)- Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Birders call them "Butterbutts."Later in the day, I peeked out my kitchen window into the Weeping Yaupon Holly and saw her lonely mate. I wonder if he knew what happened to her. Or if he thought she was just off on a short trip. It broke my heart to see him waiting patiently for her to return. It must be hard to lose your mate.