I’m sitting on the steps of the house waiting for my daughter’s arrival. She’s a ‘social bird’ and loves to text or talk on the phone. So of course she was walking and talking to me on her way home from work.
The next thing I knew she was on the side of the house yelling “Whoa, what was that? Something hit the side of the house!”
Luckily my daughter was only a few yards away and I was able to immediately see what the fuss was about. I had also heard the loud bang. Well, it was more like a hard thud!
Now mind you, there was a small bird on the lawn trying to fly away. The unfortunate thing wasn’t having any luck. It could hop just a short ways, but that was about it. The bird looked like a swallow because of its small size. But the markings were different than a typical swallow. It had a grayish brown body, a white chest and black tail wings with bright yellow tips. I wasn’t really sure what kind of bird it was. For we have over 260 species of birds in the surrounding area.
The next thing we needed to figure out was what to do with this poor injured creature. My daughter suggested that we take it in the house and try to help it. My immediate reaction was, “No, no, Shadow would swallow it whole if given half a chance! Besides, birds scare easily and truly can die of fright.” If you haven’t guessed by now, Shadow is a big grey cat.
We decided to call the County Animal Control. But unfortunately they are closed Sundays and Mondays. It was Sunday! As well, we called the Humane Society but they also have the same hours. Pardon my slang, but this was ‘for the birds.’ How can we ever rescue this helpless bird if all animal type services were closed? The only place left to call was the police. I was thinking they might know of someone who could help.
As luck would have it, the police knew of someone who could help and gave us the information. Quickly we dialed the number and got a very kind person on the phone. Terry, the lady who cares for animals was out delivering hay to a needy farm. But her husband said to go ahead and bring the bird over. His instructions were to put the bird in a box with a soft lining like an old towel for transport. Instantly I set towards the house to look for a small box to carry the bird. Suddenly my 6 year old granddaughter yells, “Grandma, hurry, quick, come here!” I rushed to her cry for help to find yet another bird huddled on the ground. This one was in far worse shape than the other one. Meanwhile, my daughter was keeping an eye on the other bird so it didn’t run into the street.
Now if you have been reading my blogs then you know that I don’t drive. Terry lives an hour’s walk away. My biggest concern was not the time or distance but the trauma the birds might go through on our rescue walk through town.
All I could imagine was the box bouncing back and forth and the loud traffic noises as we trekked down the street. Birds are normally very sensitive and I wanted to give these two little guys a chance to live.
I then decided to knock on my neighbor’s door across the street and ask for a ride. I didn’t know them very well, but hey, I’ll do what it takes to save the life of any creature. It so happens that they used to rescue sparrows and they were just headed out the door. These wonderful people were more than happy to take the injured birds to Terry’s. Yippee! We were elated!
Today I thought about the two birds often. I was really concerned about the one that was fiercely shaking in my hands as I gently picked it up and placed it into the cushioned box. I decided to call Terry the very moment I got home. No answer, but I left a message. About an hour later, Terry returned my call. She asked me to describe the birds in detail.
Evidently she must have numerous birds in her home! Wow! She let me know that one bird flew out of the box and into the trees the moment it was opened. That’s great news! She also said that the other bird is doing much better; it has an injured wing and should recover in a day or so. Terry was wondering how I caught the healthiest bird of the lot. She was quite surprised when I told her that I gently talked to it then picked it up. The bird was scared but I calmed it down with a soft voice and light touch.
Terry was wonderful! She is a definite Ornithologist (one who studies birds) and very good at what she does. Terry was also very amazed that I had found half grown birds this time of year. Evidently, the birds were not sparrows but a type of Cedar Waxwing. A fully grown Cedar Waxwing is medium sized about 6–7 inches long and weighs approximately 1.1 ounces. The two injured birds were around 3 inches long. Okay, make my day. We saved two baby birds!
Another interesting factor is the probable reason why the birds crashed into the side of the house. Terry was telling me that many birds this time of year gorge on Mountain Ash Berries. I guess the birds consume so many berries that they actually get intoxicated. Yes, I had two drunken baby birds dive bomb into the side of my house. Go figure. Now ain’t that for the birds. 🙂
At least they survived. Until next time!
Bird and cat pictures by Copyright © mecheshier