As many of you read, last week I ran over a pigeon and thus, secured a spot in bird hell. However, after my race on Saturday I think I may have participated in a rescue mission that has reprieved me from sinking into the fiery, feathery depths.
We were about to get into Christina’s car when the woman in the car next to us popped out and said, “Oh girls, please wait! I have an injured bird that is lost under here somewhere and I have to catch it. I don’t want it to get run over.”
There was a bird hospital about 20 yards from where we were parked, and the crazy bird lady (her hair was even a tad nesty, which was perfect) had caged an injured blue jay and was bringing it to birdie ER for help. Upon trying to transfer it into a cardboard box, the bird had scuttled away from her.
I’m not sure any of us was thrilled about helping, but how could we not? So with aching muscles and dried sweat streaking our faces, we began to crouch around, looking under nearby cars. I peeked beneath an SUV, and there he was. All big-eyed and limp winged. “I found him,” I shouted to CBL (crazy bird lady). No sooner did the words leave my mouth than the little jay hopped up into the undercarriage and disappeared. We were in for a long day…
Christina shimmied under the SUV in her tank top and running pants and was able to spot him. Of course, he was just out of reach. CBL retrieved some sort of stick that looked like a golf club sans the foot and we tried poking at the bird through the wheel well…but he wouldn’t budge. She tried calling him, “Birdie, birdie, birdie,” but contrary to popular belief, not all birds are named “Birdie,” so he refused to come when called.
This went on for about 10 or 15 minutes before we told CBL to go try to get some help from the bird hospital people. While she dashed inside, Christina slid further under the SUV. “I think I can reach him! Get me a glove!” CBL had the gloves inside, so we had to wait. But when she returned, we tossed a glove to Christina and she reached up inside and grabbed the little jay. Her arms and chest were streaked with parking lot dirt when she army crawled back out, but she was a hero.
As the bird hospital worker examined the injured jay, she told CBL that he didn’t have a broken wing, he was probably just a fledgling who didn’t fly well yet. Ah yes, the old fledgling/broken wing mix-up. Happens all the time.
Although the half marathon was our greatest accomplishment of the day, saving—and photographing the rescue of—this bird ranked a very close second. Thank you to Alysha for taking such amazing pictures!