Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Always Something

Yesterday morning I went off to the basement to do a little chore before work.  As I was down there I heard a noise and caught fluttering out of the corner of my eye.  I looked to see what it was as I was racing for the stairs and saw a bird.  A starling.  In my basement with no outside access.  My guess is it slipped down the chimney and made it’s way out the vent pipe on the water heater.

After calming down enough to process the fact that there was a starling in my basement I decided the poor thing had to be terrified.  So I broke up some of the raw nuts in the trail mix I have and took it food and water for the day.

Last night it was 7.  Too cold to be tossing a petrified critter out in the dark.

This morning I went off to do my errands.  Once everything was accomplished it was time to deal with the starling situation.  I’d done some online research and there were several suggestions.

Possibility one.  I located a fishing net and a fluffy towel.  Down I went, stalking the bird, armed with the net and the towel to hold up so it didn’t fly in my face.  The plan was to scoop it into the net and wrap it in the towel so I could get it out through the house without either of us being injured and also without the chance of it being introduced to the cats.  Oh yes, they definitely knew we had a winged guest downstairs.  They knew long before I did.  They were all clustered around the cold heater vent Thursday afternoon, staring and sniffing.

Did I mention the red spotlight I was wearing on my head part of the time?  No, guess not.  The one thing I read recommended stalking the bird in the dark which they said would make it less active.  Hahahaha!  Nope.  No better luck with the net approach with the lights on either.

Possibility two.  Put bread on the floor, lighted by a flashlight.  Stand statue still, ready to toss a towel on it.  Yeah well the starling mustn’t have liked the cashews and pumpkin seeds I left out yesterday.  Soon as I put down the bread it flew before I was in position.  There I was, inching closer and closer as it switched its focus between me and the bread.

Soon as it went for a bite I tossed the towel.  Into the dark.  I only had the spotlight thingy that I had on my head earlier and it doesn’t have a very wide beam.  You won’t believe this but I did it!  I got the bird on the first toss!  Okay, now I have a starling trapped under a towel in my basement.  In the dark.  Fixed that right away.  But I still had a bird beneath the towel and oh yes, the net at that point too.  I put it on top for good measure,

I finally decided it was still more afraid than I was and the towel was heavy enough that it wouldn’t hurt even if the bird did try to spear me with its pointy beak.  I closed my hand over the lump and gently wrapped the rest of the towel around it.  I carried it up, through the kitchen and outside where I slowly unwrapped the towel with the open part away from me.  Yep, off it flew, up to the wire where it roosted for a moment before going on its way.

Mission accomplished!  

Happy weekend, all!

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