Jul 03 2012

Inside My Window

Published by at 7:30 am under Bird Behavior,Songbirds

Yesterday morning I got a call from the Business Office, “There’s a bird in Payroll.  Can you come down?”

I grabbed my bird rescue towel (nothing special, just a bath towel) and headed for Lindy Mason’s office.  Someone had probably left the loading dock door open and a bird got in.  Once inside, birds always fly through the open concourse to the third floor lights and windows and are stuck upstairs without an exit.

I expected to find a song sparrow, easy to catch because they doggedly stay by the window, but when I closed Lindy’s door to contain the action I was surprised to find a male house sparrow and he had some tricks up his sleeve.

For starters he was fast.  Like a house fly he waited until I got close then darted away.

Worse, he hid.  While my back was turned he zipped into Lindy’s shelving and hunkered down like a mouse.  Silence.

It dawned on me that because house sparrows are cavity nesters they feel right at home in small dark spaces.  This was not going to be an easy rescue.

To give you an idea of the challenge I took some pictures after he was gone.

Here’s where he was.  It should have been easy to see a bird in here. Not!  It was dark and he was dark.

After moving the tape dispenser, file folders, and books not shown in this picture I found him on the bottom shelf in the back corner of the letter tray (where that yellow marker is).

And he escaped!!  I couldn’t find him anywhere.  Aaarg!!

Lindy came in to help me take her office apart.  We closed drawers, cleared the floor and moved the trash can up to the window ledge.

I finally found him in a very dark corner on the floor.  He flew again, darting back and forth (lots of shouting!) and then a miracle.  He fluttered at the window and dropped into the trash can to hide.

I was laughing so hard I couldn’t believe our luck.  He was hiding in something I could carry!

I checked to make sure he was in there among the trash.  He’s not in this picture but he was unbelievably hard to see among the folds of the liner bag.  I draped the bird towel over the trash can and took my bundle to the loading dock.

The loading dock door was closed.  The bird flew free.

We’re all happy that he’s now outside our windows.

(photo of a house sparrow in France by Pierre Selim on Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original.  Remaining photos by Kate St. John)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Inside My Window”

  1. Sharon Leadbitteron 03 Jul 2012 at 7:42 am

    Too bad there aren’t pics … that would’ve been soooo funny!

  2. Kathyon 03 Jul 2012 at 8:42 am

    Great rescue, Kate! Your description of the rescue made me feel as if I were there too!

  3. Jennieon 03 Jul 2012 at 9:59 am

    Can you imagine this little guy’s story when he got back together with his friends? Thanks for a great start to the day, Kate.

  4. Steve Valasekon 03 Jul 2012 at 10:12 am

    Douglas Adams would be proud…

  5. vtleslieon 03 Jul 2012 at 4:23 pm

    We used to keep a very fine grained fishing net with a long handle for catching escapee birds. You don’t have to get so close, and once they are in the net they generally go limp. You can then close off the open end of the net, and carefully transport the bird to its proper enclosure or outside as the case may be.

    Might be worth the investment if this happens enough that you have a bird rescue towel.

    It was very nice of the little guy to hide in the trash!

  6. Kate St. Johnon 03 Jul 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Great idea! Actually it’s a triple purpose towel. 1. Original purpose was for rescuing injured peregrines. Sadly they are rarely just injured. They are usually dead & I don’t need the towel to quiet them. 2. When clean, I use it to take a shower at work though I rarely do this now. (Worth it when I need it.) 3. Finally I use it to rescue other wayward birds like the house sparrow.

  7. Markon 15 Jul 2012 at 9:56 am

    Cool story!

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