Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Birds Have Knees, Right?

We have a fan in our bathroom. The vent is on the side of the house above the garage. Every year we get starlings nesting in it. We've never been able to block it off because it's very high on the roof above the garage. So even if we were to get a very long ladder, we would have to prop it on the slanted garage roof. No thanks! I suppose we may be able to get to it from inside - you know, dismantle the closet at the far end of the house and squeeze up into the tiny hole in the ceiling. Crawl the length of the house on the rafters without falling through the ceiling. Get to the vent at the end and somehow block things off from the birds, without breaking the fan/vent. Sounds like a good time. So we ignore it.

And every spring we hear the thunking each time the mother bird flies in. I think it's her knees banging into the house as she flies into the tight space. Birds have knees, don't they? Then of course there's the chirping. The excited, hey-Mom-is-back-with-bugs! Feed-me-feed-me-no-me-me-me type chirping. She'll stuff a bug in a mouth and fly off. Everything is quiet for about 40 seconds, then the cycle begins again. I try not to think too much about the nest and what's living in it, and crawling around, other than the baby birds.

Well, this year, one of the little fledgings apparently fell from the nest. We found it skittering around in the garage, all bones and half-grown feathers and tiny peeps. After a few attempts I managed to catch it and release it out in the yard. And then of course, as is the way of things, the neighborhood cat showed up. The one that likes to eat living things. So, I caught it again and found a slightly safer place for it. Then we had to leave. I'm sure that as soon as we drove away the neighborhood cat found it, played with it for a little while, then ate it. But I try not to think about it. I never did find a pile of feathers and bones so I can continue to deny it. I can tell myself that its mother continues to feed it and keep it happy until which time it will learn to fly to safety. That's right. Sure.

But we did manage to keep it safe for a little while and got a few pictures of it besides. It was rather cute in an awkward, big-beaked, ratty-feathered kind of way. Snickers really liked it and even got to hold it for a little while.


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