My yesterday was very eventful for the span of 20 minutes. Remember those cherry trees I talked about in a previous post? I mentioned how the trees were netted so that the birds and other critters wouldn’t eat all the cherries before humans were able to harvest some of them. You see, as I was told, birds are color blind. (I have no idea if that applies to all birds or not but my 80 year old boss told me so). According to him, when the cherries turn red, the birds know they’re ripe for the picking. That doesn’t explain the yellow cherries but that’s not the point today.
My grumps buddy John and I were standing on the truck dock watching this swarm of birds go to town on the Queen Ann cherry trees. Those are the yellow ones. I mean there were a flock of blue jays, robins and sparrows. The crows must have been sleeping because usually they take over as much as possible before the smaller birds can get some.
So we’re just standing there talking and joking and mourning but not really mourning the loss of all those Queen Anns. You see the trees are in the median between two businesses. They don’t care that we, and other people in the neighborhood come and pick the cherries because they have so many trees they are happy to share the wealth.
We happened to look over at the tree by Mr. Continental because that tree looked like it was ready to be picked soon and we saw a bird flapping desperately inside the net trying to get out. Birds can be smart sometimes. This bird figured out how to get in the net but could not figure out how to get out of it.
John and I decided we couldn’t sit here and watch this bird struggle so we walked over to the tree looking to rip a hole in the net so the bird could be freed.
When we got over there we saw movement on the ground. Turns out our sparrow friend wasn’t the only one stuck in the net. There was a robin on the ground who’s situation was worse. She was all kinds of tangled up. We had to save her. Again, these nets aren’t ours but we got a speech prepared for if the owners came over to yell at us for ripping up their net.
We walked back into the plant and John got his gloves and a pair of scissors. I started to get flashbacks to my wildlife rehab days when a call would come in and me and another rehabber would go out and save one critter or another for various reasons. Maybe I’ll share a few of those stories another day.
We walk up to Ms. Robin and she’s screeching her head off. You can tell she’s afraid of us. I mean I would be too if I was her. John gets on his knees and slowly swoops in and grabs her. It should be noted here that if it has a beak, teeth or talons, it can bite. Ms. Robin definitely tried to bite. We’re both sitting here cooing at her telling her she’ll be okay. We just want to help her.
It took a little while because every time we would make a little lead way, she’d try to flap her wings and get more tangled. It also didn’t help that John was trying to hold and cut at the same time. At one time he goes, “I can’t see!”. I’m like, “you’re holding scissors! What do you mean you can’t see?!”. He’s like “I’m not wearing my glasses.” I demanded he hand me the scissors right away.
As I instructed John to hold her wings in, I cut the netting around her body. Each time he would rotate her body so I could get around her wings, under her chest. I believe she realized we were trying to help her cause she calmed down and stopped flapping her wings. We got all the netting off that we could see and he let her go to fly away.
She made it about a foot before she just stopped and stood on the ground. She tried to fly away again but it wasn’t working. He left wing would spread but her right wing just stayed pinned to her body. I was like “John, we have to catch her again.” We thought maybe she had a broken wing and I was ready to take her to the closest rehab center.
He did a slow but quick sort of leap grab situation and got a hold on Ms. Robin again. Turns out we didn’t get all the netting. She had a good piece wrapped good around her right wing to the point that it banded it to her body. We cut that piece off and Ms. Robin was able to spread both her wings and fly away. We then proceeded to rip that net apart. The bird that was trying to fly out earlier found one of our holes and flew away as well. Hooray!
Have you ever encountered an animal who needed help? Did you try to help or call your local animal advocate to help? Let me know in the comments below!