We had some excitement in our neighborhood yesterday! I got a FB message from a neighbor I hadn’t met. (Thanks, Carrie & Matt!) They spotted an injured bird near the boathouse and they were directed to me for help. I’ve rescued birds before, as well as orphaned bunnies, so I keep a supply of shoeboxes and old dish towels around to transport hurt animals to the Alabama Wildlife Center near Birmingham. So off I trot to rescue the little tweeter and I find a fully grown Blue Heron with long gangly legs, a scary-looking beak, and wings that span five feet.Um…the shoebox ain’t cuttin’ it. The bird was tottering on an injured leg and he was sticking close to the shallow water near shore. So, I trot back home with my little shoebox and get online to ask the Internet what I should do. The Alabama Wildlife Center is who I call when this sort of thing happens (and it happens to me pretty often). Their advice is that these water birds are incredibly dangerous and I should proceed with extreme caution. Okaaaaaay. I got on Facebook and sent out an SOS to my neighbors to help me capture this majestic creature, and the response was immediate. Jim met Matt & Carrie at the boat house and the two men subdued Hank with bed sheets. Jim put him in a LARGE cardboard box in the back of Old Blue, my ancient and beloved mode of transportation.
The box was lined with shredded paper and sheets. Jim folded the top closed and brought Hank home where I was frantically arranging for a volunteer from the AWC to meet me halfway to transport the bird. I would have driven the entire way, but we had a function to get to in Auburn by 5:00, so I was quite pressed for time. Kind volunteers Gina and her husband Russell met me at an exit off Hwy 65 approximately mid-way between the Gump and B’ham.
Hank made it to the center and was examined in the clinic. I’ve made a request that they send me updates and a few photos of his progress. The center is run mostly by volunteers and is very busy with many birds to care for, so they might not be able to take pictures and send info on our plumed pal. Gina, however, has kindly agreed to keep an eye on Hank and give me reports on his progress. She not only volunteers as an animal transporter, she works a daily shift at the center answering the hotline. My hope is that Hank will make full recovery and I’ll be able to bring him back to the “Hood” and set him free. The Blue Heron is our neighborhood mascot and a stunning example of God’s handiwork. We wish you a speedy recovery my feathered friend! Come home soon! –Your neighbors