i was running around doing some “stupid stuff” after work, and as i was rolling down the high towards one of those stupid things i thought i saw what looked like an injured magpie on the side of the highway. oi’ vay! i swear fate puts these things in my path because it knows, or mother nature i should say, that i can’t just pass on by and SEE something like that and not DO SOMETHING! my initial quick intake of the bird as i passed, was that it was pretty ragged and in pretty ruff shape so i made the decision i would go take care of my “stupid thing” and then if the bird was still there on my way home i would stop.
stupid thing done, and back on the road, i cruise slowly back towards home on the road, creating a bit of a line of cars behind me. i knew they were probably irritated with me, so first chance i pulled over to the side of the road to let them by, still slowly heading towards the spot where i had previously seen the bird.
i was concerned that on the way back, i might miss the bird since it was on the opposite of the road, but it quickly became apparent that there was no need to be concerned. if you paid attention, he was very easy to spot. i pulled over again and let traffic on by from both directions, before making a u turn. i pulled up closer to the little guy, but my approach didn’t make him move at all. i figured he must be in a pretty bad state.
altho the day wasn’t a grueling hot one, the heat was significant and being out there on the side of the black top with the some blastin’ straight down on ya, not to mention having what looked like a broken wing or two, would definitely have an impact fast on any little creature. i pulled an old sheet i had on the passenger seat out of the car, and made my way over to him. he wasn’t a magpie, but what i thought just might be a lark bunting; the colorado state bird. his beak looked a bit long, but after looking at some pics of them online, there’s a very good chance that’s what he is.
i gently placed the sheet over him and picked him up. he didn’t struggle very much. this is not a good sign. it means he’s either in shock , fairly dehydrated, etc. wild animals when fully alert and doing ok, struggle. alot.
bird safely placed in the back of my car, i had no one iota of what i should do next. i managed to come up with the phone number for the local vet in town. i left a message on his emergency line, but he didn’t call back. i figured “well maybe i can find some fishing worms, take him home and see if i can’t get him to eat something”. yeah right!
after my worm purchase from a local convenience store, i then got the idea to try animal control. they referrred me to the state patrol, and gave me a number. them folks, then said they would contact the department of wildlife and have them call me, or come get the bird. by this time, i was sitting in the parking lot of the convenience store. it was after 7pm, and my own animals were waiting at home for me to get there and take care of them! (and just exactly what was i thinking taking a wild bird into a house full of cats??!!) the lady on the phone advised me to stay put for a bit before heading home with the bird.
i waited…and waited….i opened up all the windows of the car, and went to the back to check on Herman. he was either dozing off for his “bedtime”, or he was growing weaker. i pulled out a night crawler and tried to tempt him with it. no go. he wasn’t having any of it. sigh…why hadn’t the animal control guy called yet?
the phone rang. “oh thank you jesus!” lol
it was the vet who i had called about an hour earlier. he said animal control should take the bird, and i told him what animal control told me. he said he was not equipped to work with wildlife and told me to put him in a very dark, warm, secure spot for the night. ok….
i tried the state patrol gal. she called the wildlife officer again. i meanwhile put the worm back in the covered dish, and tucked Herman back in, returning to my spot in the front seat.
the phone rang again. finally! and of course, wouldn’t you know it rang while i was trying to dial another number to inquire for assistance there, and disconnected the incoming call! a few minutes later a message was left. it was the wild life officer. he left his number and i called him back. his advice was pretty much the same as the vets. he did say that the wouldn’t eat or drink if one or more of his wings were broken and that shock was a serious threat to him too. he said if the bird made it thru the night, he could get him into rescue tomorrow and get him on a road to healing. this meant, Herman would be staying at my place tonight. oi!
i cruised home trying to take the drive easy to not create any more trauma for Herman. yes…here i am watching how i drive and avoiding major potholes for what has to be the smallest passenger i have ever had in my car! lol but i couldn’t help but be concerned. it’s just my nature when it comes to creatures. i dunno why.
some people find me a ‘bit nutz” because even when it comes to black widows, which are abundant here in colorado, i don’t kill them, but put them in a container, carefully, and move them outside to a garden somewhere. i personally don’t mind spiders and being an avid gardener, also have a strong appreciation for em. i mean, you’re talking to someone here who wasn’t going to bother removing the yellow sack spider from her house because he wasn’t “a bother”. that is, until i got bit. then he got moved! lol
gypsum, the town i work in, is loaded with gophers everywhere, and they are constantly darting back and forth across the busy highway i take to work each morning. the other day at lunch, i couldn’t help but flinch when i saw one dragging his back end across the road, and the fact that i couldn’t help him. yes i know it’s just a gopher, and generally speaking they really aren’t my more favorite animal. it still hurt me however, to see it suffering and i still wanted to help, but he ducked into the grass on the side of the road and was gone before i could even think twice. i might not have been able to help him, but i could at least try and help this bird!
and so, what i think is a lark bunting, named Herman no less, is gently resting on a clean sheet, on top of another sheet, inside a crate in my spare bathroom for the night, and i just hope when i go to check on him in the morning, he’s still breathing. oi’!