Tuesday, July 3, 2012

sad bird

 For the record, I hate birds.

Always have, always will. It's not the time or place to go delving deep into my psyche, trying to figure out how or where or when this deep-seated phobia started...I actually don't care much the reason for it, all I know is that birds scare the living daylights out of me and I want to spend as little presence in their time as humanly possible. So deep is my hatred/fear, I cannot even subscribe to the put a bird on it mentality, or even bring myself to like all of the cutesy owl things that dominate society and Pinterest of late. Turning a hated thing into a cutely-colored cartoon thing does not make it acceptable. For instance, would you adorn your child's nursery with orange and turquoise cartoon roaches?

Didn't think so.

Anyway. I hate birds. Almost as much as I'm scared of them. This does not mean, however, that I want to watch them die. Which brings me to Sunday night.

Sunday night I was watering the gardens. As I went to walk across the front yard to stretch the hose to another flower bed, I almost had a heart attack (and definitely shrieked at the top of my lungs, dropped the hose, and ran 100 yards like I was competing in the Olympic trials) when I nearly stepped on this little guy:

Hey, little guy. What are you doing in my front yard? Since the dude did not so much as flinch after all the commotion I made (other than to cock his head to examine me at a better angle), I quickly concluded that something must be wrong, because "normal" birds (if such a thing exists) would have flown away from the hose-throwing, shrieking, 300 times-their-size girl. Just to make sure he was completely stationary, I grabbed my hose and squirted the ground right next to him. He made an almost-endearing attempt to stretch his little wings and hopped a bit, but there was definitely no movement...which is why I decided to run inside and grab my camera. How often will I have the chance to try to photograph a baby blue jay? The answer is: probably never, because I generally stay far away from the family of blue jays that just seem to loooooooove my roof and my trees and my yard. Sheesh.

So I ran inside, changed lenses on the camera (because no way am I actually getting CLOSE to that thing-- it could LEARN to fly any minute now, and I'd be SOL), and dashed back out. I spent a few minutes taking really horrible pictures (sorry, these are the best I actually got...apparently bird photography at dusk isn't my calling) before the fullness of his (our? Because at this point I'm feeling a little sorry for poor baby bird) plight settled on me. This photo shoot is loads of fun and all, but I'm suddenly feeling a little nervous when Aidan cruises over.

Remember Aidan? The world's most curious and obnoxious outdoor cat? Oooooh...right. Aidan. He's really going to love this visitor in our yard.

See, I really do not like birds. But I don't want to watch them be killed right in front of my very eyes, by my own cat. Especially baby birds, that probably haven't even traumatized or pecked people yet.

I quickly assessed my options, as Aidan crept over to inspect the blue blob in the yard. I grabbed that hose and SPRAYED THE HECK OUT OF MY CAT, which caused him to flee, just as I'd hoped. But it also caused the bird to make really pathetic little bird noises, which only served to draw Aidan right back out of the bushes where he'd fled to. OH GREAT. I sprayed Aidan again, and this time did a little chasing as well, to make sure he ran further away than just the front bushes. And then I ran like the wind to the backyard, where Matt was riding the lawnmower. I ran in front of him, jumping and screaming and waving my arms like the world was ending, and he sprinted after me to the front yard as I explained our plight.

"We have to save the bird!!!!!" were the words I never thought I'd hear myself saying, but were surely enough coming out of my mouth.

After a quick consultation, we decided to pick the birdie up with a shovel (using another, smaller hand-shovel to scoot him onto the larger one) and transport him to the tree in the backyard where the blue jays seem to live/hang out. Strangely enough, the "mom" jay (or SOME frantic-sounding blue jay) was circling above us this whole time. So we were hoping she would follow us and see where we were re-locating her kid...and hopefully get him up into a nest in a timely fashion, before Aidan beat her to it.

But yall. That poor bird. Although I never got closer than 8 feet from him, I could still hear his sad little chirps and see his frantic wing-flapping as he tried to figure the whole situation out. He looked so SAD on that shovel as we graciously transported him to the backyard. He didn't seem to care that I was using my sweetest voice (normally reserved for puppies or tiny babies) to reassure him it's okay, birdie!!! Mommy will find you!! We aren't going to hurt you! You're going to be okay! And then we set him carefully under the big tree in the back, safely underneath the low-lying branches, and made some big motions to the mom blue jay, still flying overhead. Here he is!! Come save him!!

And that is my story of how I, Erika the Sworn Enemy and Hater of the Birds, rescued a bird. Or at least I hope I did. We looked under the tree a little while later to see if he was still there, but it was too dark to tell. I saw Mom Jay out there this afternoon, looking like her normal self (not wearing black in mourning or anything, which is what I assume birds would do if their young were attacked by cats), so I am telling myself that the rescue was a success and that the baby jay will grow up to be a much nicer bird than the rest, avoiding humans and not pooping on their cars. And somewhere, somehow, hopefully I have racked up some Bird Points that will protect me from future bird encounters. 

The End.

PS. I make an exception to my bird-hating for penguins. Penguins are adorable and precious and are exempt from my hatred/fear because a) they can't fly, b) they don't have claws (that I know of), and c) OMG what kind of soul-less person could hate a penguin??!?!

PPS. I myself became a rather sad bird on Monday afternoon when the specialist's office called me unexpectedly and rescheduled my appointment that was supposed to be this Thursday. The doctor is going to be on "first call" or something and won't be able to see me, so now I'm not going to be seen until Friday, July 13th (ironic, no?). Naturally this led to another depressing episode of Crying at Work, Hating Life, and general negativity. It's not like I've been waiting a MONTH ALREADY or anything, or that I am really really really anxious to get the surgery scheduled because my life is on hold until then and now this is going to delay scheduling surgery even LONGER and I will probably die (or have further extremely painful cyst complications) in the meantime...nope, whatever, just CANCEL MY APPOINTMENT, haters. GAHHHHHH.


  1. Sweet baby bird- I'm glad you found it in you heart to protect him! Also, I used to joke that we were going to have a grackle-themed nursery, so now I may just to it to creep you out. Ha!

    Also, I hate your ovaries almost as much as I hate mine for doing this to you. The end.

  2. As per usual, Amanda stole my comment mojo. We've had some good laughs about the grackle-themed nursery. And I hate your ovaries almost as much as I hate Amanda's, too!

  3. I never knew about the penguin exception. I approve.

    I saw my (step) niece's nursery for the first time the other day and there were definitely orange and blue birds on the sheet and the wall art. From now on I will be imagining they were roaches.

  4. Boogie the appt. being rescheduled! I have to wait 3 months to get into the specialist and would cry buckets if they rescheduled!!!!

  5. I have rescued 2 baby birds in the past month and one was just the other day as I was leaving Chick-Fil-A! A baby robin was smack-dab in the middle of the lane that goes beside the drive-thru and I stopped and tried to nudge it to the side of the lane with my foot, but it wouldn't take a single hop. I finally found a card in my car which I used to scoop it up and put in the landscaping next to the lane. Unlike you, I love birds, and was in tears by the time I got home and saw Ian because I was afraid the poor thing would die in the 100* heat and not be found by the mother. Then I thought of how many times the Bible mentions that God knows every move the birds make and how much more does He love His children? Anyway, it was a very philosophical moment for me. :) That said, God also knows that the right time for your surgery is not when you thought, but He is doing what is best for you. Just think of that baby bird, so helpless until you came and saved it.

  6. With our storms we have had nests knocked down, and I secretly pray everytime I go to look in one that it is empty because little birds scare the heck out of me too!

    The birds at Disney were OBNOXIOUS when we were eating outside. :/

    (not that you needed anymore ammo to dislike birds, but just sayin')

  7. Gah, sorry to hear about the reschedule, that sucks! But I'm happy you were able to rescue a baby bird and earn some Bird Points. ;)

  8. Oh my word, this made me laugh so much! (The bird story, not the delayed appointment part - just to be clear!) I, too, am bird-phobic - can't deal with them alive, can't deal with them dead - and as I read I could totally picture doing something similar (spraying the cat, jumping and screaming in front of my husband) in that situation. I am very impressed with how you handled the situation, and I am choosing to believe that his mama came and rescued him.

    And, on the PPS - I do hope all comes through on the 13th - no reschedule, good appointment, lots of peace - will keep you in my prayers.


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