It’s For The Birds

Destructive little devils they be !  Well, maybe not so little, but they did cause me great consternation. I had just completed bull-floating the concrete of a large driveway, when a curious band of Guinea Foul came a scratching. Not too much damage until I screamed and yelled at them….,then they really dug in their nails when scattering. I once had a large German Shepherd jumping and jiving and spinning in the middle of a fresh pour while the property owner stood there laughing. Yes, great fun—— NOT.

Then there was the time when I had finished painting my 63 model car with Enamel # 444 color. The paint had been curing for about six hours, when I backed out of the garage to remove the tape and paper. I stepped from the car, turned to walk away, when a Seagull dropped a load, Kerplunk, right square in the middle of the trunk panel. I grabbed the water hose and proceeded to rinse off that glob of brackish, gooey gift. To my utter amazement, the paint stripped off clean down to the primer. The evacuation of that bird made a round hole as of a coffee cup ring in my beautiful paint job.

I had taken on a contracted job of field fence with one strand of barbed wire down along the Snake River. The field in which I was working was an old alfalfa field, now being used for cattle grazing. As I walked through placing T-Post, up jumped Pheasants every now and then, along with bunches of Quail at one time. As I was busy driving this one particular post, I heard a crackling noise and a distinctive pop. Looking around, trying to locate the source, I scanned the skyline. There on the High-line of a power pole, frozen in a Dante type statuesque pose, was an Eagle holding onto a Pheasant. His talons of his left leg were buried deeply into the back of his prospective supper, namely the Pheasant. With his right leg’s talons permanently attached to the power line, they just were hanging there upside-down. Evidently the Eagle and the prize he had captured and carried struck two phases of high lines, thus killing both. When I completed my work for the day, they were still in that grotesque position.

A grand-slam, but in a bad way; I added a 20 x 12 ft. extension to our living room, plus four windows and an entry door. The main window measures 6’ 6”, with sliders . That window is a magnet for birds. Numerous times the birds would fly at full speed into the glass. Some would shake it off and fly away. Others, however would not. In particular, the wax wings most always died. On one occasion, a wax wing just knocked himself a little goofy and was flopping around on the grass, trying to revive.  About the time he came to his senses, a Kestrel swooped out from above and snatched him up.  Finally we came up, or I should say, Pat came up with a solution. Pat propped an oven rack on the window sill and the carnage ceased.

Years ago our neighbors boy, about eight, came running to our front door in a panic. he was talking so fast that I missed most of what he was trying to tell me.  I finally gathered that there was a bird tangled in fishing line and stuck in the top of our tall elm tree.  Being the fool that I am, I climbed that 30 ft. elm to facilitate a rescue, but mostly to shut up that little boy.  The bird, a robin, was hanging upside down by a broken leg. He also had the fishing line wrapped around both wings.  Now, I don’t normally like robins very much because they are always stealing from our garden. They follow you down the row that you are planting and pop the new seeds right out of the ground. Any new seedlings sticking up their little sprouts, is considered fair game to robins.  Well anyway, back to the story, with my trusty Barlow, I proceeded in cutting him loose from the branches. Once back on the ground I removed all traces of the line.  The robin’s right knee was separated and hanging only by a small patch of skin. I used my knife to remove the lower portion of his leg. I sealed the wound with ‘New Skin’ product.  We, the neighbor boy and I, placed the robin in a safe area while he recouped. He seemed to revive from his ordeal in an hour or so and began to hop around, or a least, he tried hopping around, but not too well. Later he flew away.  That same bird came back to our yard the very next year.  It seemed to me he was showing his gratitude by coming back home to let me know that he was ok.