May 21, 2010 “Little Birdie…”
May 21, 2010 “Little Birdie…”
It is rare that one gets the opportunity to make a real difference in the world; to change the outcome or fate of something or someone. We can live our entire life waiting on the chance to step in and, for a moment, be a hero. We may have to act alone in our heroism, or as a member of larger group working in concert. Tonight at work I was afforded the opportunity to head up a team effort for just such an endeavor…
I work at a factory type job in a large open space building. At the front and rear of the building are large doors that roll up to open, much like many home garage doors, except on a larger scale. When these doors are open to the outside world they offer a very large entry into the facility and birds often find there way inside the building. I guess they think they are flying into a large cave or something, never dreaming that the cave mouth will close and leave them trapped inside, but it happens quite often. Usually the birds find their way out quickly the next time one of the doors opens. However, occasionally an unlucky little bird cannot find it’s way out for a few days and this bodes very ill indeed for the tiny feathered prisoner. Tonight, while I was at my job, I noticed just such a stowaway as it flew down from the high ceiling beams of the building to land on a large pallet of materials just a few yards from where I stood. It landed there and did not move for several moments, and as I watched, the little Catbird was pecking and prodding at the plastic wrapping on the top of the pallet as if it were trying to eat it. I was busily working when my co-worker, Becky, walked by within three feet of the bird and it didn’t try to fly away, that’s when I knew the bird was very weak and, maybe, a little disoriented. We decided that the bird might need some food and water, so as I worked and watched the weak little bird, Becky found some bread crumbs from someone’s lunch and filled a makeshift water container with some water. She was able to get pretty close to the pitiful little fellow before he started to act scared, so she placed the food and water within easy reach of the bird and moved away. The bird ignored this offering and just continued to pick at the plastic wrap. I decided to try my hand at catching the bird. I tried to use a broom to gently subdue it, but this was a bad approach, for when I tried to capture the creature it moved away and looked as if it would fly, and then, a few minutes later, I tried again. This time I tried to “net” it with a large lightweight plastic drop cloth, but this time it mustered the strength to fly back to the beams high above. We thought all was lost until, in a few minutes, the bird came back. Only this time he landed on the floor and feebly hopped around…one tiny, weak hop at a time. Becky tried to give it the water again, but to no avail. Then I had an idea…the bird was heading between two more of the pallets like the ones he landed on before, but these were much smaller, only about 18 inches high. I told Becky to be ready with the drop cloth and when the bird went between the pallets we would each take a corner and float the light plastic net over the space between the pallets and net the bird. As the unsuspecting bird did as I thought he would we sprung our trap…with Becky on one side and me on the other the bird could only fly upward and into our plastic net… we had him! I quickly gathered the net up around the little bird to keep him from injuring himself in his attempt to escape. He was so weak that he hardly fluttered at all. I immediately picked up the helpless bird and whisked him to the nearest exit and outside. I took him to a picnic table at the back of the building and gently unwrapped the plastic from around him and released him. He flew like an arrow toward the trees and freedom, but before he did, he turned and winked at me and said, “Thanks to you and your friend for being my Heroes” !