Sunday, July 5, 2009


According to Webster, birdbrained is a word that can be used to describe a stupid or silly person. There's a good reason why someone coined this word, and here are a couple of examples.

Last week my son noticed a bunch of straw and branches on the ground in front of the back door to my garage and discovered we had a new neighbor. A robin thought it was a grand idea to build her nest atop the light fixture over the door. Undeterred by the half of the nest that fell to the ground, she patched it up and moved in.

The mother is very skittish and flies away at the slightest movement, so I'm sure I drove her nuts today while I was doing yard work. I think she finally gave up sitting on the nest and sat up in the tree and watched me. Course I can't use the door or the light now either for fear of disturbing her further. How long does it take robin eggs to hatch? How long before they fly away? Well, I guess it won't kill me to use the main garage door for a few weeks.

I mowed the lawn this afternoon and finished about 2:30. When I put the lawn mower away I discovered that a hummingbird had flown into the garage and was flying around the ceiling. I have a two-car garage, so I opened both doors and went elsewhere in the yard to pull weeds. Three or four hours later, after I'd put my tools away, took a shower, and got some supper, the hummingbird was still flying around in the garage.

I watched him for a while, trying to think how I could get him out. I really didn't want to shut him in there for the night because I feared he would be dead by morning. While I was thinking about it, I brought the feeder into the garage and hung it up. After all it takes a lot of energy to fly around like that, and he needed a place to sit still for a minute.

The opening of my garage is about a foot from the ceiling, and that poor little bird just couldn't put together that he needed to stop flying around the ceiling to go back out the door. He flew in that way, didn't he? Wouldn't you think he'd remember how to get back out?

It finally occurred to me that if he was too birdbrained to fly down one foot, he certainly wouldn't think to fly under a curtain, so I constructed a curtain of sorts from landscaping fabric, a sheet of plastic, and some trash bags held up with thumbtacks, and corraled him in a small area in front of the garage door. It took me quite a while to do this, and about the time I was trying to figure out how to redirect him further, I realized he'd flown under the top of the door.

My garage door is built in sections, and each 2 x 4 foot section has a raised bar surrounding it. That hummingbird got into one of those sections, and wouldn't you think he might have figured out that all he had to do was fly down about an inch and a half to get out the door? No! I finally had to take a flattened cardboard box and angle it up into the door section to create sort of a little ramp to edge him out.

Six hours after that stupid bird flew into my garage, he finally flew back out. I just can't tell you how happy I was. I stepped outside and watched him fly way up high until he was just a little dot in the sky, and then he was gone.

About two weeks ago, I had to disassemble one of my downspouts because a chipmunk got stuck in it. I sure hope this is the last animal rescue for the summer.


Vicki W said...

Well, you are having quite the nature adventure this Summer! LOL! The Robin's eggs will take 11 - 14 days to hatch and then they will be there for 15 or 16 days before the fledge.

Lurline said...

All very frustrating, I know - but lovely to have the beautiful birds so close!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Stephanie D. said...

You just oughtta hand up a "Sanctuary" sign on your door, because the word is out, apparently!

LC said...

I'm thinking the same as Stephanie... bless you for even caring about these critters!

floribunda... aka Julie said...

I had a bird fly into my garage last week, too -- a titmouse. He managed to find his way out within a few minutes (thankfully!)

Lori in South Dakota said...

I'm with Stephanie---"Sanctuary"--or maybe "Animal Rescue's done here!"