Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Bird Rescue 911


Last night was full of excitement – if you’re lame and don’t get out much, and consider small animal rescue exciting.

When I pulled in to the driveway last night, Teague was leaning over a patch of flowers near the base of the porch. He called me over to see his find – a homely looking baby bird with patchy feathers and a stump for tails. He was flopping around on his back, desperately trying to turn himself over.

I come from a long line of animal rescuers, so the sight of this little guy made me 1) want to cry, he was so pathetic and helpless and 2) spring into action as if I were a highly trained bird specialist and this was my destiny.

After checking for a mother or a nest (neither in sight), I grabbed a soft cloth and gently picked him up with it so I could see just how badly he was hurt. He was pretty beat up, but it looked more like the result of a noisedive than a predator. While I was doing my 10-point inspection of his little body, Teague found another baby in the bush at our feet. The second bird was in much better shape – he must have been lucky enough to hit the mulch rather than the concrete. They were very young – too young to stand up or hop – close but not quite fledglings. They must have gotten sick of sharing a nest with rowdy brothers and sisters and decided to run away. I pictured them taking off like little rebels, all drunk on the newfound freedom, accidentally finding the shortest route to the ground.

We found a small cardboard box, lined it with clean rags, and set both babies in it so that the neighbor cats would be less likely to snatch them. Then we put the box on the porch in an obvious spot, hoping Mom would return and somehow save the day. i made Teague help me dig up some teeny-tiny worms, and I put a bottle cap full of water in there, even though I knew they were too young to know what to do with either. The effort, however meaningless, made me feel better.

For about an hour, I watched out the window to see if Mom would make an appearance. She didn’t. I called my mother, grandmother, and best animal-loving friend to get opinions on what to do. Leaving them out like two unwrapped snacks was quite obviously not going to save them… I knew I’d wake up the next day to either an empty cardboard box or two stiff bodies. Our best bet was to find the nest and put them back in it, but early attempts proved pointless.


Then we realized that if we couldn’t find it on the porch, and it wasn’t from a nearby tree, it must have been from the top roof. The really high off the ground, can’t believe they survived a fall from there, cupola portion of the house. We saw a medium-sized black bird swooping around in an agitated fashion, then watched her go in and out of a small hole in the cupola a few times. That, we decided, was mom. And there was no way she was getting two babies half her size all the way up there.

Luckily, my husband is as crazy as me. Evidence we’re made for each other: he was willing to climb up there and risk his life to push these two fugly little birds back into their nest, allowing me to sleep soundly last night.

I like to think they’re both cuddled up in a cushy nest in there, being nursed back to health by their diligent mother. I know that’s probably not true, at least not for the badly injured one, but at least he got to go home one last time. So what if we’ll have rotting bird carcass in our cupola? Totally worth it.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Mary Beth had this to say on 05.25.07:

Good on ya for baby bird rescue. We had a similar rescue incident with an obviously not in good shape adult rabbit that ended poorly a couple of months ago. We rationalized that it was better he met his reward in a warm, soft, sheltered box rather than at the fang of the local cats who were stalking him.

Katherine had this to say on 05.25.07:

Another reason we’re friends. :)

piaffe had this to say on 05.25.07:

Best post ever!
I’ve done wild bird (and animal) rescue many times, with the same hope that after they go home, they’ll somehow survive.
It just seems like something you have to do at the time, because it’s the right thing to do.

colleen had this to say on 05.26.07:

kudos to you guys!!! i went to put liq fence on my very small garden the other day and get this a bird built a nest in a small bag of compost on my potting bench. i checked today and there are baby birds, im keeping a close eye.

Trissa had this to say on 05.28.07:

Way to go- hopefully their mom is taking good care of them!

Kristin had this to say on 06.07.07:

Awww, I wasn’t expecting such a good ending! I’ve found myself in similar circumstances too many times! Once in middle school we tried to save a litter of baby rabbits. That one didn’t end well.

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