Well… tonight, the_marquis
and I took our bird-watching to a new level.
A daft little (large, actually) seagull chick from a different family fell off the roof in our neighbourhood a day or so ago, according to our neighbour Mrs Hamish. Tonight, as the Marquis went to “quickly” empty the bin, he spotted Chick bang in the middle of the road. Now we don’t have much traffic where we are, but we do have many cats in the neighbourhood.
Chick looked bedraggled and slightly beaten up, and made pathetic little noises, and the Marquis and I decided that something had to be done. Mrs Hamish agreed and wished us luck, but decided not to help, as her two dogs were clearly upsetting Chick’s parents who were yelling and cursing us.
RSPCA suggest that juvenile wild birds should generally just be left alone, because the parents will continue to feed them on the ground, but that it might be advisable to move them to a sheltered place if they are in exposed area. Well, in my book bang in the middle of the road counts as exposed.
The Marquis manoeuvred Chick into the carport, while I went to find out what to do. But apart from what the RSPCA had to say, there wasn’t much I could track down in a hurry. So I came back downstairs with the camera (in the end we didn’t take any pictures, even though it would have been nice to have one, because Chick was scared enough without the flash going off…). We decided that we’d get Chick into a cardboard box and put him on the roof in front of our house – better than nothing, and all we could do.
In the end it was quite an undertaking to persuade a large babybird with no clue whatsoever to get into the Cardboard Box of Salvation. After trying to persuade Chick into it (which resulted in much shrieking and the Marquis nearly treading on Chick’s toes), the Marquis simply plonked the box over the top of Chick. There was a stunned silence.
With the aid of a piece of hardboard, the Marquis closed the box, while I fetched the loft-ladder and put it up against the outside of the house. The Marquis then acrobatically climbed up it with the box with Chick in his arms. He got Chick out of the box and it immediately climbed up the slope towards the ridgeline.
We’ll see tomorrow if Chick’s still there. The big gulls seem to have stopped shrieking for the moment. Hopefully that is a good sign.
The other baby gull on the car park roof who recently lost its sibling is up an about again. So fingers crossed for it, too.
May our daft oversized pigeons live to learn to fly yet!