News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

June 17, 2014

LIZ CIANCONE: Son has a knack for rescuing lost birds

TERRE HAUTE — I think the excitement of last week is over — for now. It all began when Number One son opened the door to a storage area and found a small bird, very much alive. Because my family likes to talk in a soothing voice to all animals, Number One assured the little guy that he was not to worry. “I’ll take you back outside so you can find your family.” Oddly enough, the little bird calmed down and sat quietly in our son’s hand until he put it down outside.

It could certainly fly, and it did fly to the nearest tree, where to judge from how the chirping went on, it seemed as if his loved ones were glad to see him back.

But, birds belong in nests built in trees, and not where the bird’s family has set up housekeeping in an outside vent for a laundry dryer. So I reported the incident to Michelle, and on Wednesday Steve and Joe came to issue an eviction notice to our feathered family.

This was not a simple task. We are four stories up and the dryer vent was merely a hole in the wall covered by nothing. You can’t blame a bird for wanting to raise a family in a sheltered place, but raising a family of birds with the back door to the nest a plunge down a dryer vent and into a storage area isn’t safe.

The nest was blown away with a leaf blower, the outside entry plugged up, and so far all is quiet.

This was not the first bird Number One had saved. When he was about 14 years old, he found a fledgling robin that had fallen from the nest. With feral cats in the neighborhood, he elected to bring the little thing into the house and, in idle moments, he put it on his wrist and walked around the yard. He would drop his wrist suddenly and “Mr. Peepers” would flap frantically to regain balance. It wasn’t long before his wings were strong enough and he could fly.

It was odd to go out and have a dozen birds take flight from the feeder while a lone robin would fly down and sit on Number One’s shoulder. Sadly it all ended when we went on vacation and Mr. Peepers would accept no substitute for his original savior. Number One may not be a “horse whisperer,” but he seems to have a knack with birds.

Birds continue to flutter around our hole in the wall and some of them come bearing small sticks, but it’s closed now. The eviction notice changed the locks, I guess, but they seem to remember the family they raised there. One of the kids certainly has a tale to spin when they gather around the supper table and exchange stories.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

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