Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baby Bird Blues

Today my son, a girlfriend of mine and I were outside playing in the front yard when we noticed our neighbor's dog (which very similarly resembles a child in desperate need of attention from his owners who already give him more than enough), chasing what appeared to be a leaf.

[The dog will be called "Max" from here on out as I feel this name is appropriate for his personality. He maxes us all out of patience here in our quiet little neighborhood.]

Nevertheless, we giggled at the cute little doggie playing and I mumbled under my breath to my friend, "That dog is something else."

The "leaf" bounced and fluttered a few feet from the tree from which it fell coming to rest and then being pounced on again by Max shortly thereafter.

Max didn't play with it necessarily but rather just stood over it waiting for the next breeze to pick it up and try to move it to its next destination just a few feet away.

Up the "leaf" went and there went Max to chasing it.

As it flittered and fluttered this time, I noticed unusual movement...for a leaf.

(It's a good thing I'm so observant. *rolls eyes*)

My girlfriend asked, "Is that a bird?"

"I don't think so?" I replied in question form.

But my friend was right and it didn't take long to come to the horrific realization that the "leaf" was actually an undercover baby birdie fallen from his nest just trying to stay hidden in the grass until his mother could come rescue him. And the little dog with too little too much attention had blown his little birdie cover.

I quickly rushed over but not before Max snatched him up in his mouth and was carrying him away.

As I chased the dog all the while trying to coax him to drop the innocent creature I rounded the corner just to see his owner there watering plants. She looked perplexed as to why I was chasing her pet with hands folded in prayer fashion. I explained what Max had in his mouth and she immediately told him to drop it, to which Max promptly let the little guy fall to the ground and ran off to find another less troublesome toy.

I walked over with my son to survey the damage. Little Birdie Blue was slobbery and shaking and had hopped to a couple rocks and stuck his little baby bird head in between them hoping he was sufficiently hidden from any further attacks.

I scooped him up (I know - a no-no worthy of a head-to-toe shower in anti-bacterial soap and tons of germ training hours had that been one of my children) and carried him back to the tree from which I thought he fell and foolishly hoped the nest was within reasonable reach.

It wasn't.

In fact, I saw no nest at all.

My son decided we should take Little Birdie Blue inside and see if our conure, Steve, would take care of him.

Hmm...worth a shot.

"Steve, meet Little Birdie Blue." I said as I shoved the little guy in Steve's beaked face.

In perfect unison with my offering gesture, our conure leaned back as far away from the little foreigner as was physically possible. I pulled the trembling baby bird closer to me as Steve straightened back up simultaneously. I pet the little birdie so Steve can see I love our visitor and he should, too.

I slowly gave Steve the chance to be sociable again.

The same cold reaction, only this time he squawked something that sounded like "What the heck!" and flew out of the room.

I sighed.

"Garrett go get some bread." (This is the extent of knowledge I have of birds; that birds fly in groups - hence the confusion as to why Steve didn't like the newcomer - and that anytime I throw bread outside, birds eat it. So why shouldn't this little guy love something yummy in his tummy?).

I figured he was cold in our house with the air conditioner going full blast, so I opted to take him outside and feed him under our pergola.

He wasn't hungry.

Garrett asked to eat the bread so as not waste it. "No way, Jose!" and I made him break it up and throw it in the yard, much to his disappointment. I got distracted watching him and the little bird jumped right out of my hands and began a frantic flittering, falling, bouncing, hopping act to get across the yard.

I stood back to watch him and see if he knew where to go so maybe I could find his nest.

I watched him bounce.




Get pummelled by my cat from out of nowhere!

Garrett nearly sucked all the air out of the southern region of Oklahoma when he gasped from sheer shock.

I was all over that cat like stink on poo! My afternoon had turned into MISSION: Save Little Birdie Blue!

After a frantic dart-and-grab foot race around the yard, I was finally able to catch my feline huntress. I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and shook her gently so she'd let the birdie go. As he fell to the ground, she growled at me in obvious disgruntlement and ran off. I looked at the birdie who was on his back in just-play-dead-mode and once again salivated heavily upon. I seemed to hear him yell, "Oh, the humanity!!"

You're right. You've been through enough today. If you were a cat, you'd be in debt with all your lives, I thought.

So, I opted to release him close by but, hopefully with some kind of feline forcefield considering the 4 of them had the yard flanked on all sides.

So, I went to take him back to his tree.

But Max was still searching for a new toy there.

I looked at the little birdie who was wide-eyed and sticky and decided to leave him in one of my other neighbor's big deep bushes surrounding his mailbox where there was hopefully plenty of cover for my Little Birdie Blue.

I said a little prayer for him and a safe return to his feathered family. About an hour later I heard a lot of bird commotion going on outside. I could just imagine the lecture he got from his mother after the initial hug and kiss upon finding him scarred but safe, no less.

Flittering back to the nest, "Just wait till your father gets home..."


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