It’s Raining Birds- The Story of Speedy

Last week before we left for the beach my daughter was out running and she texted me a photo of a baby bird..a real tiny baby bird. She found it on the lane right where she was running – almost under her feet. No no! I did not want to become involved in this drama as I was packing to leave for the beach. When injured animals cross my path they become my responsibility to save them, nuture them, or if necessary put them out of their misery (so far I haven’t really had that happen- maybe because i get so hell bent on saving them). So to avoid becoming part of the baby bird on the ground issue I got my husband – Kevin- involved. He would not get as emotionally sucked in.

Since the baby bird’s mom was squawking nearby they decided to make a nest and put the bird in it and set it up in a tree. Lo and behold as they were doing this they found another baby bird. So they set them both in the nest. We let them be. Before we left the next day on vacation my daughter checked them and they were still alive but one looked weak she said. We had to go and I knew that the mom should be feeding these guys as I read on the I left it in Mother Natures hands.

When we returned from the beach last Saturday I had forgotten about it- but then of course I woke up at night that first night back wondering how those baby birds faired.  When that nest was checked both birds were gone. I am choosing to believe that they were ready to leave the nest and they are off in the wild.

On Sunday evening I needed a break from stuff I was doing indoors. The heat had abated some so I took all the dogs out back with their Bag O’ Toys and we began to play. We have a small kiddy pool in the yard so the dogs can take a dip when they get heated and I decided that I better change the water. I headed over to take a look and there in the pool standing in about an inch of water was a little bird- fully feathered but young. It is raining birds here on this little farm. It just looked up at me and didn’t move. Uh oh I thought- this could get ugly if the dogs notice the bird. All stars were in alignment as I was able to get my husband to help and was able to distract the dogs with toys as Kevin went over and picked up the bird. Now I was invested in the bird drama – I had to be – I can’t leave it to look after itself. I never could- I’d be awake all night.

Once out of the yard it hopped out of Kevin’s hands and onto the ground of the horse paddock. Crap! So we ran to the paddock and began chasing this tiny bird around. It could not get airborne but it could run.  I decided to name him Speedy. Oh my Speedy was fast. We were looking like a bunch of fools out there so the horses decided to come out and take a look at what we were doing. Yea- a thousand pounds of horse and hard hooves do not bode well for a little bird. And wouldn’t you know it Speedy may be fast but he did not know about horses bc he ran right under Harley – and seemed to be happy under him by his Feet! I decided I was stronger than Harley and faced him and began to hug his neck hoping he would not step anywhere. Kevin was able to retrieve speedy and we got him out of the paddock- whew. But he jumped out of Kevin’s hands again! He almost ran back into the paddock but we were able to coral him into our gym which is attached to the barn. Speedy was confused and scared. I sent Kevin to get something to put him in. Speedy and I were alone and I was determined to catch him. I turned and nearly stepped on him…he doesn’t get feet at all.  Off came my shoes – not that they would make a difference if I stepped on him but I wasn’t thinking right. Are you tired yet- on the edge of your seats?

I finally caught him and held him in my hands and stroked him. I tried to look at his wings and they did not seem broken. Since I have birds- Chickens, ducks and a cockatiel I kind of know about bird wings. I figured maybe some flight feathers were missing or he was a new flyer. He was very scared the poor thing so I didnt bug him too much. I tried to send good energy and calming vibes to him. We got him into a big box added some bedding – meal worms – seed and water. I tried to get a bit of water into him. He may not have been thirsty as he was standing in water when I found him but I tried but really didn’t make much headway. He seemed very tired and weak – we got him settled and left him in our gym for the night.

Today Kevin went to train a client early and he checked Speedy and thought he wasn’t looking too well. I realized I can nurse chickens and ducks but I am out of my league with a wild bird. So I decided to call the animal sanctuary about 35 minutes from our home. We have brought a few birds to Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary in Gaithersburg. They take care of many types of animals that have been orphaned or injured. They are wonderful.

I had Kevin go back to get him and bring the box to the truck. He came back to the house and told me the bird was not in the box! And this was a giant box with high sides – an injured bird shouldnt be able to get out of it! Especially a very sick bird as Kevin had said he looked this morning. Where was Speedy? I had my son looking for him and I rousted my daughter while Kevin went to pick up the other son from soccer camp. I found my son searching the gym and as soon as my daughter went in she spotted him. He was hiding near some equipment. So I thought no problemo – we will just corner him and pop him back in the box. Nope…Speedy was not into this plan at all. We chased him around for ten minutes. He was crafty and today seemed much more cunning than he did yesterday. Speedy seemed to be feeling much better- but he still couldn’t fly. He got some loft but was right back on the ground. Finally- whew-after me crawling over a few pieces of workout equipment we cornered him behind some plates (as in plates you use on barbells) and I scooped him up and checked him out- stroked him – and set him back into the box – which we covered lightly this time with a small towel and paper towels.  We really had planned on putting him in a smaller box but I was just happy to have him in something. The good thing was when I peaked at him he looked perky. So that was good I thought.

We loaded Speedy and his box into the SUV and made sure he was secure. On the drive down we heard him move a couple times like he was trying to bust out. I could only imagine his escape and him bouncing around in the car trying to get out. I prayed a prayer to Saint Francis Patron Saint of Animals asking that Speedy stay put. Luckily Saint F was listening today and we made it safely to the sanctuary. It took a little getting in as I had to maneuver the box as my daughter held the paper towels on so Speedy would not try jump out. I don’t think the guy working the desk understood we could have used a hand but no matter they took the box and bird back to the back as I filled out paperwork. It was just a page asking when and how you found the animal etc and your contact info – they will email you if they are able to rehab the bird.

The guy at the desk was super busy on the phone- a rabbit in a window well- an orphaned something in DC(I should have asked what it was)…I found that we were waiting for something to happen but I was unclear as to what. Usually we drop the animal off and leave. I asked the desk guy if we had to wait as I was done filling out the form. He said they were going to look at the bird and let me know what was up… Ok this was really becoming my drama -but really part of me didn’t want to know. Speedy seemed good and I could leave and make up a big story about him living his life out fully after the nice sanctuary people fixed him. But I waited. I heard other birds chirping in the back and I think I heard Speedy chirping back- he had only made a few chirps in the gym. That must be a good sign!

After a bit they told me he was ok but seemed not to be using his foot….he used it earlier- he was like the wind- maybe he hurt it in the car when trying to jump. They said they would keep him and they seemed optimistic that he would be ok. They will email or mail a note if the outcome is good. I didn’t tell him his name was Speedy bc they might decide to keep me more involved if they knew I named him and all. I don’t want to be involved- I did my part right? These birds they have to stop falling in my yard…I just don’t have time for this stuff. Yea I am a hard ass  – uh huh. In the coming weeks, I may or may not be looking out for some email or snail mail from Second Chance – you can guess….Yeah -You go Speedy….

Thanks for Reading…

Speedy (he’s worn out from running) and me- well my hands…

Entrance to the sanctuary’s long drive.

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