Recently there was a massive hailstorm in Pietermaritzburg. Hailstones, the size of golfballs, came hammering down. They damaged cars, gutters, roofs, windows and terrified the animals. After the storm had subsided, we noticed a hadida (ibis) walking around our garden with a damaged wing.
There have been hurt birds in my garden before and they mostly just need time to rest before they go on their way again. The bird was still there on Saturday and spent the day pecking at worms. We put water nearby and left him. Fortunately our little dog was completely unconcerned about the bird so it was free to wander about.
When I went to collect the newspaper on Sunday morning, I searched for the bird. I was relieved that I couldn’t find it and hoped that it had recovered sufficiently to move on.
Then I looked into the swimming pool and my heart sank. The hadida was floating on the surface. The bird must have managed to get over the fence and somehow fall in – it could help itself at all because the hail had broken one of it’s wings.
Last time a hadida died in our garden it crashed into the outside wall of our double storey house. On this occasion there were two hadidas flying together and the one flew straight into the wall. It died instantly. I believe these birds mate for life and its mate circled our house for ages, screeching in distress at the loss of its partner.
The mate of the bird who died in our pool must be grieving over the loss of its missing partner. Collateral damage caused by global warming and man’s inhumanity to our environment.
”Global warming isn’t a prediction, it’s happening.” James Hansen