This is an old story and set of pictures (which I could not find the original), but our friend, Patty passed them along today and I was so touched... I thought I would share...
A flock of Barn Swallows had stopped on a highway, perhaps to hunt or rest. A vehicle passed by and one of the birds was injured and unable to move from the roadway.
Here, she is, but the condition was fatal.
Her mate lingers nearby and eventually brings food to her.
Aware that she is lost to him he seems to cry out in anguish. Every time a car passes, the bird flies off for a moment but then returns to mourn. Shocked at her death, he tries to move her.
Eventually the photographer, concerned for the safety of the living bird, put down his camera, picked up the bird and removed it from the road. The grieving bird lingered in a nearby tree, "crying" out loud. This photo breaks my heart...
According to Darwin...the difference between us and animals is only a matter of degree.