Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bird Redemption

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!


Michael C said...

You are kidding me!!! Something happens to me and it takes 15 years to undo it. You have some very good luck mojo working right now.

You'd better head to Vegas!! ;-)

Jane Moneypenny said...

The one thing I learned from this entry is that there's such thing as a bird hospital. I never knew. Seriously.

brookem said...

aww, you saved the day!

Hannah said...

No bird hell for you young lady.

Chirp Chirp :)

Alysha said...

That was awesome, shimmying, army crawling, bird-saving day! Thanks for writing about it!

Anonymous said...

You have been redeemed in Bird Heaven, and will be welcomed through the golden gates by St. Peter the Eagle... wait, don't you own cats?

Good on ya though. Hope the three of you bought yourselves a well-earned beer for your good deeds. :)

Mel Heth said...

Michael C - 15 years? That's a long time. I'll see if I can put in a good word with the bird karma people and have them call around to decrease that for you.

Jane - It was actually a rescue facility for oil spill birds, but I'll still classify that as a hospital.

Brookem - Christina did, but I provided moral support. :)

Hannah - This almost could've been a feature on your Friends blog!

Alysha - Thank YOU for capturing it on film!

Geekhiker - You had to go and jinx me with the cats, didn't you? ;)

mom said...

When I was young, a century ago, we were always rescuing and saving birds. Dad did the same growing up, so it must be just another one of those wonderful inherited traits. It has saved you from "bird hell" and the little birdie from "birdie heaven"!

Lara said...

I agree w/ Michael...what are the chances of that?! Nice. Jane - I actually took my parakeet to a bird hospital after he had a stroke. Lame, I know, but he was my little bird dude. Also, Christina's butt looks great!

big sister said...

I was thinking the same thing - "Man I wish my butt looked like Christina's". It wasn't like she even knew the picture was being taken during the rescue, so she couldn't even be squeezing her gluts to look more perky. Maybe I do need to take up this running thing.

laura said...

good...so i'm not the only one that noticed her butt...it does look good. three cute, skinny girls run a 1/2 marathon and then save a bird...am i the only one that finds that annoying. Just kidding...i'm with big sis....i actually have taken up running and will do a 1/2 marathon...if you can promis that my butt will look like that when i'm done. :)