Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bird Rescue, Week 4: No live rescues or salvages

Note: The American Woodcock and Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker that I found last week were both treated and released!

This morning came with gentle, temperate winds. Downtown Chicago felt calm, similarly to the first week I went out. Last week, peckers and thrushes abounded, but this week, only pigeons, gulls, and house sparrows made appearances. I saw the crow upon her nest in front of the evil atrium, but only her tail feathers, and I eagerly look forward to hopefully seeing or hearing baby crows soon.

I woke up at 4am--an hour before I needed to get up!--and was downtown by 6am. I saw one mutilated robin carcass, but I couldn't get to it, which was actually a relief, since its insides had been pecked at by something else and it was a ghastly sight.

While walking, I caught a few looks from passersby--they become curious about my net, I guess--and I spoke to maintenance workers for two different buildings. They were both friendly men; in fact, one had approached me last week, telling me he'd just placed a dead bird in the trash. I peered in the can, but it seemed that other trash covered the bird. The other man was flirtatious with me. After I handed him a card with the bird rescue hotline number on it, he looked slightly disappointed, as if he expected it to have my number on it! He instructed me to 'stay sweet as sugar' and I promised him I would.

By 7am, I had already finished my portion of the route, so I headed off to teach. I actually slept in my car for awhile because my class doesn't start until 10:20. I felt very grumpy all morning, but I had to smile when one of my students asked me if I'd rescued any birds. I'd mentioned on the first day that birding was a hobby. Maybe I can even raise some awareness through this work!

Overall, I felt relief at finding no birds, because that means none (hopefully I didn't miss any!!!) were hurt or dead, and because I become so amped upon discovering injured birds since this whole process is new to me. Last week's Woodcock encounter was exciting enough...but who knows what next week will bring!

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