It started late this afternoon, when I went outside to go plant a few annuals. I paused while still inside the garage because a brown thrasher was sitting on my garbage can, just outside the garage door. When I finally went a little closer, I spotted the baby, sitting right next to the garbage can wheels.
I grabbed gloves and the available nest-substitute (an empty clementine box), scooped up the baby, and wedged the box inside a large boxwood. Baby squawked loudly, parents answered with alarm calls, but held off on dive-bombing. After a few minutes I saw the adults perching on the boxwood branches, and assumed all would be well.
Fast forward an hour or so, when my dinner was cooked and I was about to eat. I decided to close the garage door so the cats could wander in there (a favorite activity of Fish and Fred). As I closed the door I thought I heard a chirp, but decided it was from outside. I went back to the kitchen and served my plate--and heard another chirp. Dash back to the garage, and there's Fish staring intently at the stack of paint cans...and the thrasher fledgling, wedged beside them. Fish luckily had no idea what to do with it and Fred had apparently decided to leave the scene, so baby bird seemed unharmed. (Agatha had retired for a post-prandial nap and missed the entire episode.) I recaptured it and put it back in the boxwood. Parents were nearby and scolded as soon as the baby started squawking.
However, it's now dusk and the baby is nowhere to be seen. One adult was perched on a yard waste bag, chirping repeatedly, but I didn't hear any replies. Or perhaps that was a scold, because I then spotted the orange tabby from one of the neighboring houses sitting near the boxwood. I ran the cat off and didn't see any signs of an ex-fledgling, but that's not the only free-roaming cat around.
Impatient little one! In only a day or two it probably would have been able to fly, but apparently just couldn't stay in the nest until then.