Bad Bird Catcher

This year I've been called on my cell phone four times from the Bird TLC office asking if I had time to go catch an injured bird and bring it in. They know I'll take the time, but so far this year it's been a little depressing.

Bird TLC got a call from a little old lady in Mt View, an older subdivision in Anchorage. She had a raven that fell down her basement window well and is just sitting there. Cindy called me and I said sure I'll go. She knows I'm a sucker for ravens anyways. First I had to run to the clinic and get a kennel and then to Mt View. Sure enough, there he was.

Now as I've said before, I quit smoking almost 5 years ago. The adverse effect was gaining 30 lbs. This window well was about 4 feet deep and a little narrow. Getting into it was no problem and I caught the bird with little resistance. I set him outside the well on the ground wrapped in a blanket. Now it was my turn. Good thing that little old lady was there to offer me a hand getting out.

I took Mr Raven back to the clinic where we were able to exam him right away. Unfortunately his wing was broken in several places badly where it joins to the body and had been broken for a little while. I went home bummed out.

Next call was that there was a raven that won't fly on the corner of Old Seward Hwy and Dimond Blvd near the old bank. OK. Big intersection. Probably the 4th busiest in Alaska for traffic. Go to parking lot of the old bank and look around. No bird. Talk to a few people and they haven't seen him.

Then I see a raven jumping around. I watch him for a bit and decided that must be him. Most birds would have taken off when I approached. Not this one. He decided to walk away. So I'm following him, holding out a large purple blanket to cover him once I get close enough. In the back of my mind I see this headline in the Anchorage Daily News "Local man goes nuts and goes after ravens with purple blanket". He seemed to like the chase because his pace picked up. As I almost had him cornered he turned and took off flying. Wrong bird. I never found whatever one the phone call was about.

Next call was that there was a raven on the ground not flying and one wing was dragging low on New Seward and Dimond. OK. Big intersection with an over pass, cloverleaf and right during rush hour and it's dark. It's probably the 2nd worst intersection for traffic in Alaska. I go by the clinic and pick up a kennel and off I go. It was all I could do to look for the bird without being ran into or running into someone. I searched for about an hour in the truck and on foot before I gave up.

Later that night my wife and I went out to dinner. When we left where we ate at, we went up and down Old Seward Highway a few times. I figured with a lookout in the passenger seat could help, but no bird.

The next day while at work I drove past the area a few times. No bird. I'm 1 for 3 and the 1 was not that good.

Yesterday I get a call from the office. There's a small bird outside the main entrance of an office building on Minnesota & Benson and it wont move. Can you go fetch? I still have a kennel for a raven in back of my truck (a little over kill), so off I go. I drive right to the place and look down and there's a Bohemian Waxwing all balled up next to the curb trying to stay warm (it was about +18F). He was an obvious window hit. I picked him up and put him in the huge kennel while he bites the heck out of my hand. Off we go to the clinic. Take the kennel out and carry it to the exam room while I take comments on a little too large of a kennel. Cindy opens the door and the waxwing had already passed on. I went home bummed out.

So I'm 2 for 4 but the 2 are not that good. I wish we could have done more, but sometimes that's the way it's meant to be.