When he stopped to rest on a length of metal piping, this sparrow’s feet froze solid. Weighing in at just one ounce, he doesn’t have enough strength to get his feet unstuck from the frost so he can fly away.
Luckily, the video-maker knew a trick to help his feathered friend out of this sticky situation. First, the kind rescuer places his hand around the nervous bird to stop him from hurting himself. You can see how the warm touch calms down the bird. Once the sparrow has stopped panicking, and his legs have had a moment to warm up again, the man melts the ice away from his feet by breathing on them – you can actually see the frost disappearing. Finally, he helps the bird free itself from the last bits of ice keeping it stuck to the pole and wishes him well as he flies away.
Can you identify the bird in the video? He might be a song sparrow: winter residents across much of the US, “their bright carols are often heard on cold, clear mornings in late winter.”
Thanks to this everyday hero who spotted a critter in distress and lent a helping hand, this little songbird will make it through until spring!