Blog 18 – Team Work for a Rescue
My son’s sharp eyes and quick reaction saved these babies from a terrible fate yesterday. Recent rains and winds had knocked these chicks and their nest from a tree in our front yard. The nest lay in pieces and the babies were hunkered down in the week-high grass. Near impossible to see. I wouldn’t have. But fortunately for them, and us, my son was mowing the rows and I was I was doing the cut work that day. He was just feet from their landing spot when he spied them and stopped his mower. He found me around back and gave me a hand signal to cut mine off, too, and come around front - fast.
Then it was all hands on deck. He sat guard for the chicks to ensure their safety from neighborhood pets and wildlife (we have fox, hawks, and owls for whom three not yet fledgling chicks would be a treat). I ran inside to engage my daughters’ assistance and then Googled: “baby birds and nest fell from a tree, what do I do?”. Up popped two wildlife rescue leagues in our area. Two phone calls and ten minutes later we had our marching orders (A shout out to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center for their prompt and friendly guidance!).
With the nest in pieces and needing to be replaced, we were told to find a small basket or box and place the remains of the nest inside. Place the chicks in their new nest and put them back up in the tree. We were assured the little guys would not be abandoned if we handled them.
The girls were off to the basement to find an old gift basket (all the grief I’ve gotten over the years for saving those things fell aside with their repurposed mission), wire, and wire cutters. I took over guard duty while my son hauled out the 13 foot ladder from the garage and set it up.
After a few moments for a photo shoot, the three kids each gently scooped up a chick and placed it in its new home. My son climbed the ladder while one of his sisters steadied it. The other handed up the basket with its noisy residents and the two of them secured it in the tree.
We pulled away the ladder. Admired our handiwork. And retreated to an unintrusive distance to see what would happen. Sure enough, within just a few minutes, two adult birds (which had been calling to the chicks, or yelling at us – who knows, from higher in the foliage the entire time we were working the rescue plan) swooped in with mouthfuls of something. We went back to mowing.
It was a good day.
If you read the Blog regularly you know I find some way to extend these life moments to SETAC-NA. No doubt you’re asking yourself, “How will she do it this time?”
This is about team work. Using the strengths, capabilities, and ideas of each team member to solve a problem and each enthusiastically taking action. My kids are 19, 17, and 13. Any one of them could have performed any of the tasks. But it only took seconds for them to divvy them up. I was assigned Google and phone duty – friendly but quick to extract the needed information. Quinn - ladder and basket placing duty – tallest and strongest, the ladder is 13 feet tall. Eileen - photo duty – high school yearbook editor and pretty good with a camera. Rachael - basket duty – several small animal rescues under her belt, she knew right where to look and what she was looking for. They all placed a chick. And we all celebrated the accomplishment and the satisfaction of watching the parents take back their brood.