Today on my route I found a wounded bird in a yard where the owners were doing some construction. It was one of the prettiest birds I'd ever seen but it was obviously in distress and couldn't fly. As I was looking at it, one of the workers came up to me and said that they had seen what caused it to become injured. They just happened to be looking out at the street as the bird, flying very fast, hit the power line in the front yard. It then fluttered to the ground and couldn't get airborne.
There is a woman who lives near Dilworth here in town to whom I had delivered injured birds in the past, so I told the worker that I could perhaps find help for the bird. Since I was weighted down with mail he caught it for me (simple matter, since it couldn't fly) and we wrapped it in one of the towels I always carry with me and I took it back to my vehicle. I then put it in an empty mail tub, covered the top with a towel to help to keep it calm, and got back to delivering the mail.
Later, on one of my breaks, I called a former co-worker who is extremely knowledgeable about all things avian. I described the bird to him and he figured that it was a Northern flicker. He was right, as I confirmed via the Internet when I got home. As soon as I could, I called a local vet and asked if they could put me in touch with the woman who helps injured birds. I hadn't taken a bird to her in about ten years and had lost her name and phone number. The vet knew exactly who I was talking about and they keep her name and number at hand.
At the end of the day I did make sure that the bird had not merely been stunned or bruised and gave it the opportunity to fly away. But it just could not fly. I brought it home and tried to phone the bird lady again, but couldn't get an answer. However, it was all rendered pointless when I went to check on the flicker and discovered that sometime between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm it had died. I suppose it had a really serious internal injury.
Well, I tried.