Yesterday morning I got a call from the Business Office, "There's a bird in Payroll. Can you come down?"
I grabbed my bird rescue towel (nothing special, just a bath towel) and headed for Lindy Mason's office. Someone had probably left the loading dock door open and a bird got in. Once inside, birds always fly through the open concourse to the third floor lights and windows and are stuck upstairs without an exit.
I expected to find a song sparrow, easy to catch because they doggedly stay by the window, but when I closed Lindy's door to contain the action I was surprised to find a male house sparrow and he had some tricks up his sleeve.
For starters he was fast. Like a house fly he waited until I got close then darted away.
Worse, he hid. While my back was turned he zipped into Lindy's shelving and hunkered down like a mouse. Silence.
It dawned on me that because house sparrows are cavity nesters they feel right at home in small dark spaces. This was not going to be an easy rescue.
To give you an idea of the challenge I took some pictures after he was gone.
Here's where he was. It should have been easy to see a bird in here. Not! It was dark and he was dark.
After moving the tape dispenser, file folders, and books not shown in this picture I found him on the bottom shelf in the back corner of the letter tray (where that yellow marker is).
And he escaped!! I couldn't find him anywhere. Aaarg!!
Lindy came in to help me take her office apart. We closed drawers, cleared the floor and moved the trash can up to the window ledge.
I finally found him in a very dark corner on the floor. He flew again, darting back and forth (lots of shouting!) and then a miracle. He fluttered at the window and dropped into the trash can to hide.
I was laughing so hard I couldn't believe our luck. He was hiding in something I could carry!
I checked to make sure he was in there among the trash. He's not in this picture but he was unbelievably hard to see among the folds of the liner bag. I draped the bird towel over the trash can and took my bundle to the loading dock.
The loading dock door was closed. The bird flew free.
We're all happy that he's now outside our windows.
(photo of a house sparrow in France by Pierre Selim on Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original. Remaining photos by Kate St. John)