Our kitchen table is directly in front of large sliding glass patio doors. This morning while having coffee there was a loud thump. Looking up I noticed that a bird had flown into the door and was laying still in the snow. Within 10 minutes another bird landed beside the fallen bird, investigated, and then flew off. We have hawks and more than a few stray cats around the place, and thought that a hawk or a cat might have a free lunch. That's natures way. Some 20 minutes passed while we were not noticing the still little bird in the snow, nor anything else on the patio. When next we looked, the little bird was gone. The snow around where it had been laying was not disturbed. No hawk or cat got a free meal.
Given that Gnomes are protectors of nature and all; it's not out of the question that one visited the little bird and either brought it around, or carried it off to mend it.