Select Page

The other day, I mentioned my bird experiences of last summer. There were multiple. I think that these things happen to us mostly because of the odd setup of our house and the surrounding neighborhood. We do have a pine tree in our garden (side note: I now use “garden” and “yard” interchangeably.

Something about me: I’ve always loved animals. I wanted to work with them and was interested in pursuing it – until Ms. Mooney told me there’s no way I’m getting into AP Bio. I know a lot of people say I love animals, but I don’t think you understand what I mean.

Examples: Once when my boyfriend-at-the-time was driving us home from a friends house, we were taking backroads in New Hampshire and then the worst happened: we hit a raccoon. It was a swerve, but I heard it, and he kept driving, and so being the reasonable person I am (and also having had a few beers) I SCREAMED at him to turn around. Why? TO SEE IF IT’S DEAD! If it isn’t? WE’LL SEE! Believe me, you do not want to know what my plans were. He didn’t turn around.

Just recently I jumped out of our vehicle on the road just outside Greve in Chianti to grab a Golden Retriever that had gotten loose (this was the second time in my life that I’ve grabbed Goldens off the road). On our honeymoon in the Maldives, I chased birds through the trees because one was picking on the other – much to Rami’s amusement.

So when I say I love and care about animals, I mean that I’m one of those people from the internet that found a puppy/kitten/squirrel/anything on their vacation/marathon/bike ride/cross-country road trip and now it’s sleeping with them in their bed.

Don’t worry I don’t have any birds – because Rami won’t let me.

I think we get so many birds around here because of the way our garden is set up. We have a pine tree that’s probably 15 feet tall, but on three sides, it’s surrounded by five or six floors of buildings. Above our roof, there’s an opening across to the other end of the block and one other tree behind us. Think of it like a cove but in the sky? We’re wayy in the cove and the birds fly in from the bigger open area around the corner. We get pigeons, swifts, ravens, sparrows, the normal for living on the edges of city life. The problem, I think is that at night, these birds don’t see the cement walls of our “cove” and so they hit them. Hard.

The first time it was actually my fault. Last spring, Mama pigeon in our tree had been there for weeks. We had heard the babies in the nest for a while now and none had fallen out of the nest, so we were thinking they’d be on their way shortly. Well, late one night I thought it’d be nice to sit outside for a bit, so I went out and I plopped down into our hammock (that’s attached to our tree). In the darkness, the branches above me erupted with startled pigeons. One shot out across the open sky, slammed into the wall of the building on the opposite side of us and slid cartoon-style down the wall to the ground floor of the empty apartment beside ours with a thud.

It took me a good ten minutes to go down there and check on it because if you heard the noise, you would have agreed with me that it was definitely dead. But it wasn’t. It looked pretty well for what it had been through – sitting (upright) on the ground where it had landed – it watching me steadily as I moved around the yard. So I immediately went into fake vetrinarian mode. Meaning I just started googling everything about fledglings and injuries and the temperature birds need to be (they can be cold if left on the ground). I found a shoebox, the whole shebang, and the bird slept inside for the night. In the morning I let it back out into the yard. By the afternoon it was gone which I can only mean it learned to fly and got back up in that tree and took off.

This situation has also happened to me with a Swift, but it wasn’t in our yard, but out in the middle of our street – lying there looking like a bat. That was more research than pigeons, and I found out that Swifts can’t land on the ground because their wings are too long and legs are too short – and so you have to “launch” them back into the sky from a higher position. That one was cool.

Then one morning after Rami left for work, I opened our front door to blood drops staining the front walk. Thankfully for me, the worse one Rami had to deal with – another pigeon had hit the wall of the building next to our front door, but it wasn’t as lucky as the one before, and died after it had fallen onto our doorstep. Rami is an incredible husband and cleaned most of it up before I even got up for the day.

There have been two other occasions where birds spent the night in and or around our apartment and Rami has tolerated my Fake Vet attitude extremely well, but I’m hoping this year I can stop with the bird rescue. The main reason being Stitch used to let pigeons practically walk on him in our garden. Luna, on the other hand, wouldn’t give those stunned birds a chance, and then I’d have a bigger problem to deal with.