I saw a bird die today.

Was jumping down the steps of our Langley offices when a flutter of brown wings hit the window with a muted thump, leaving a thin streak of brownish-red on the pane.

I stopped for a moment, then went outside. Got down on my haunches, searched under the bushes, and peered at the little, quivering clump on the ground.

I was going to reach out, but then a wing, which had been extended, slowly settled down to the still body like a tire deflating.

Almost at the same time the bird’s leg drew in and up, towards its body. The tiny claws on the foot closed tight together. And the bird stopped moving.