Saturday, July 03, 2010

New temporary charges

Oh Lordy, pals... a few evenings ago, I was sitting in our backyard and marvelling what real estate agents might call a "park-like setting" in our backyard. There were frolicking squirrels and a few rabbits that Henry chased after giggling. We've got a lot of nature here.

And if you've been around for a while, you know that nature likes Camp Sinki as a birthing center, which has been equal parts cool and vexing.

I knew there was a Cardinal's nest in our front pine tree. We've watched them collect materials to build their nest and recently they've been making lots of round trips. We've heard peeps from above.

On Thursday, I was rushing the kids out the door to get Willa to preschool. We immediately noticed a baby bird hanging upside down, beating its wings furiously. A closer cool showed two baby birds with one foot each tangled, apparently in the brambles of the old tree. I got a step stool and a golf umbrella and gently moved the branch while two very concerned adult cardinals kept close watch. Everyone had high nerves, so I called that good enough, loaded the kids up, and left.

Henry and I did some errands and returned home two hours later. The chicks were still hanging and had bloody wings and legs. Up I went again. This time I could see they both had thread twisted around their tiny legs. I grabbed them, the nest fell, the male cardinal dive bombed me (no contact). I sat with one on my lap and the other in my hand while I unwound the thread, which was wrapped at least eight times. And then I did the other. They were weak, and their wings were pretty bloody. I took the nest, an old pair of soft Henry pants, and the birds, and placed them in the recycling bin under the tree.

Their mom and dad made several concerned visits before starting the feeding visits.

Jim got home, and we strapped the recycling bin to the tree, about 5 feet up. We figured this would keep the baby birds safe from neighborhood carnivores (including, sadly, Greta the dog.). The whole bird family seems to have adjusted to their new home. The babies may have been ready to start learning flight, but they need some time now to heal and rest.

Photo to follow.


NotAppealing said...

What a dramatic story!

Keri said...

Great story! Glad to hear that you were able to help the birds.