moonwise: (amalthea)
[personal profile] moonwise
My husband and I have a fairly pleasant back yard. It's not large, but it is very green, and we have many bird nests all around the property. There is a pair of robins, and possibly a pair of cardinals, and some house sparrows in the front and the back.

On Saturday, we spent a lot of time outside, because all JP wants to do these days is run around outdoors and whack his golf balls. We can't complain about this, because little children need fresh air, and it's better than watching Cars for the millionth time. To keep my son from wandering out into the busy intersection that's catty-corner to the house, we have an arched three-foot high ornamental fence blocking off the gaps in the trees and in our larger privacy fence (we can't fence the whole back yard because of multiple easements.)

I kept seeing something fluttering in the fence, but I didn't think a whole lot of it. My husband had been cleaning up the patio and releasing dry brown pin oak leaves, and they were blowing all over the back yard. Since we also have a feeder, we have birds perching here and there for short periods. But, later on, I looked out the back door at the fence and saw that the fluttering thing was still there. Hoping it was a leaf, I went over to look.

It wasn't a leaf. It was a partially-fledged baby bird, caught by the neck between two of the arches. if it had been bigger or heavier, it would have choked to death or broken its neck. I gently eased the little fellow out of the arch, and it was so tired it didn't even try to get away. Some of the small feathers on the leading edge of one wing had been stripped away, but it didn't appear hurt besides that. We brought it inside and put it in a shoebox, and my husband and I were very relieved to see it settle its wings properly. Once safe, it promptly put its head behind its wing and went to sleep.

My husband was great - he called around and found out what to do with the baby. We weren't even sure what species the bird was - I thought it might be a sparrow, but the bird expert my husband was talking to thought it might be a robin. Luckily for us, Biscuit was hiding upstairs, because JP was around (and naturally quite interested in our visitor.) We told him it was a little bird, like Peter's friend in Peter and the Wolf, and we had to help it. First we looked for the nest, but we couldn't find any accessible nests. JP was very concerned about the bird's mommy and daddy, but if you can't find the mommy and daddy, there's not much else you can do. We were then told that we could take our foundling to a wildlife rescue in Mercer County, and it wasn't too far away. We had to hustle, though, because it was about 3 PM and the place closed at 4.

We got in the car and made tracks to the Mercer County Wildlife Center, where we dropped off the little bird along with a donation. The ranger told us that we had found a baby sparrow that was about 3-4 days from leaving the nest, but its mother would have been continuing to feed it until then. The wind was so high that the bird rescues had been getting many instances of babies being blown from their nests. They told us to check back in a few days to find out how the sparrow was doing.

The wildlife rescue was very close to the cities of Lambertville and New Hope, so I said I wanted to go get ice cream at Gerenser's (caramel pecan praline, yum.) Then we dooted around for a while, JP got to see the locomotive at the New Hope and Ivyland train station, and we had dinner at Triumph. Really a lovely evening, and all thanks to our feathered friend.

Here is our foundling, in all its downy glory:


My MIL hates sparrows, they are greedy-guts at the feeder and messy to boot, but I'm happy we saved this little guy.

Date: 2013-05-28 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is indeed a British house sparrow - cute little alien invader, poor thing. All it needs is some food, and it should be just fine!

Date: 2013-05-28 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope to get good news about our little friend!

Date: 2013-05-28 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awww... I'm glad you were able to rescue the little guy. Sadly most birdies I get a chance to meet don't end up well (what with the furry fiend on the prowl) but I do appreciate it when they get a chance to make it. :)

(Also baaawww good on JP for showing concern over the bird's mommy and daddy... such a sweet little boy!)

Date: 2013-05-28 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure that Biscuit would join Mont in ravaging the bird population if we let her out. She's a strictly indoor cat, but when we got a sparrow down the chimney once, Biscuit was all over it when it was let out. She was none too pleased about being forced to drop it.

Date: 2013-05-28 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're a birdie hero! :D

Date: 2013-05-29 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sometimes the littlest titles are the best. :)

Date: 2013-05-29 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
New Hope and Ivyland RR sounds fascinating. I haven't seen it. You should go about 90 miles west to Strasburg RR. Very nice facility. While there, you must see the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. They had a refurbished shay and the pride of PRR Pacific Class #3750 K4. I grew up with #1361 until they relocated it from the Horseshoe Curve for restoration. Apparently, current codes do not allow this locomotive to operate under original operating specs.

Biscuit should have been a bigger help with the day's drama by making a more realistic ending to Peter and the Wolf.

Date: 2013-05-29 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have heard of the Strasburg RR; everyone says it's worth the trip. It's a long way from home, and it would probably be an overnighter. We'll go when JP is older and has a longer attention span. It sounds very exciting!

If Biscuit had shown any interest in our little visitor, she would been relocated to the basement. I'm sure she would have enjoyed a mouthful of sparrow.

Date: 2013-05-29 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You must listen to this story. Bill Cosby talks about his experiene with The Bird.

Date: 2013-05-29 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, luckiest birdie ever! I'm so glad you were able to save him and get him to the wildlife center.

Date: 2013-05-29 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Definitely lucky! Which reminds me, I have to call...

Date: 2013-06-01 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am too, what a cutie! I have half a shell in my backyard and I'm hoping it's from a hatching rather than an attack.

Date: 2013-06-03 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope so too!

Date: 2013-06-05 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lucky little bird that you rescued it. :D

Date: 2013-06-10 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was such a sweet little fluffball!


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