Friday, July 11, 2008
Baby Bluebird Rescue
Bill and I had just returned from shopping at the Super (Duper?) Walmart store in Georgetown this hot and humid summer morning. Bill headed down the outside entrance to our cellar. He wanted to get his paint to repaint the wooden post that holds our mailbox. Immediately he came back up and said to me "There's a bird in the stairwell, you better take care of it." Ron to the rescue! I took a peek over the railing down to the bottom of the stairs. Sure enough, there behind an old motor, that someday we will get around to taking to the recycling center, and a broom, were two black, scared to death eyes peering back at me. A baby bluebird had lost its way. Bill had told me that the mama bluebird was still feeding her babies even though they had left their nest a couple of weeks ago. Some or all of the baby bluebirds had taken up residence in the pine and holly trees that border my back yard. Apparently some of them aren't ready for prime time yet. Maybe their flying wings aren't ready yet. The baby bluebirds don't seem to develop as fast as the Determined Sparrow's offspring. The new young sparrows are long gone. Even the new baby Purple Martins are swooping and diving every day, testing their new wings. In fact, they've been dive bombing me almost every time I go out to the shed. Well, it was rescue time for this wayward baby bluebird that had lost its way. I went to the shed, dive bombed and screeched at all the way by about three Purple Martins, and got my gloves. I headed back to the stairwell, gloves in hand for a gentle rescue. I hoped that the baby bluebird wouldn't be thrashing around and break its wing or worse during this rescue attempt. I looked for Bill. My thought was to ask him to video tape the rescue. That would be interesting to show on my blog. But, no Bill. The rescue would have to be done, sans video. I quietly descended the cement stairs to the cellar to the discarded motor. Just around the corner of the motor, I could see one black eye looking at me. I moved my gloved hand to scoop the baby bird up. It gave a squawk and scooted to the other side of the stairwell, obviously petrified. I wish I could tell it I meant it no harm but was there to rescue it. Quickly, I gently closed my gloved hand around the trembling bird. It was quiet, with just its little dark head sticking out of my closed gloved hand. I ascended the stairs to the backyard and took it back to the pine and holly trees that border my backyard. I gently placed it down at the base of the holly tree, shaded by the weeds. It made no further sounds but did look up at me. The Purple Martins (or bluebirds - I couldn't' tell which in the blazing sun) were still dive bombing me with their screeching alarms calls. I left the baby bluebird at the base of the holly tree. When I got back I told Bill to keep an eye out for it when he mows the lawn later this afternoon. I'll go out a little later to see how it's doing. Hopefully, it's parents will continue to feed the poor little thing until he or she feels confident enough to try its flying wings again. An update on the bluebird box, it now has four bluebird eggs in its neat bluebird nest. One more perfectly oval blue bluebird egg to go. The baby bluebird I rescued today will soon have new brothers and sisters. And so it goes in Ron's Backyard Habitat.