I would have left the bird to its business or helped it into the nearby bush except that two thoughts popped into my head:
- Those bushes were where we found the last litter of kittens, and this bird would make a nice meal for any cat that wandered by
- When I relayed the story of bird #1 to Kevin, he said that if he found an injured bird, he would put it out of its misery (in a more graphic way)
After reading this and then this, and realizing there was no way I would be able to take care of the thing, I figured out the best way to re-release it into the wild. I made a little paper towel nest in a basket I had lying around, and transferred the bird into it. Then B helped me string it up in a tree, where hopefully some bird will come along and feed it. Since it looked like it might rain (and it has, but only a little), B broke down a small branch from a maple and rigged it as a natural umbrella. I'll check on it again tomorrow.
Edited to add: Whether it was the rain, the cold, or the lack of food, the bird didn't make it through the night. I buried it in the backyard.