We have experienced heavy rains recently, and have not filled our bird feeders. In between the periods of rain, the birds did eat just about all of the seeds. What remained became hard packed at the bottom of the feeder. This has happened before and just requires a thorough cleaning of the feeder and restocking it with fresh seed.

While Mrs. Fog and I were sitting on the lanai last evening, reading, we heard a strange flapping sound in the yard. It sounded like a bird rapidly flapping its wings, but there were no birds in sight. The sound only last a few seconds. A few minutes later, the sound was repeated. Again, we looked out to the yard and saw nothing,

After about ten minutes of this, I walked around the pool to get a better look at the yard. Yeah, I know, it takes a good bit to get me out of that chair.

To my surprise, I saw a little sparrow with its head stuck in the bird feeder.

The little guy must have been really hungry and forced his head into the port in the feeder. He must have turned his head and pushed real hard to try and reach the seeds. When he tried to get his head out, it was stuck. He kept flapping his wings in desperation.

What to do?

sparrow2I don’t know how many of you have ever held a sparrow; I have to tell you, it was a cool experience. The first thing I learned is just how small and fragile the bird was. Once I put my hand around his little neck, I realized the bones of the bird are extremely tiny. I was afraid to pull or twist the neck to get him out of his predicament.

Meanwhile he was not happy to have some big, clumsy hand around his body. We have all heard or used the expression, “That scared the crap out of me”. Well, that is what happened with the bird. His first reaction to me holding him, was to have an extreme bowel movement. Fortunately, I dodged that bullet.

We really had a problem; he had a bigger problem. If I twisted his head to try to remove it from the feeder, it would snap and kill the bird. If we did nothing, I was sure he would be dead by morning.

We took the bird feeder from its mounting and removed the top. Next, we got a long piece of dry bamboo (we have a couple of bamboo plants growing in the yard) and started to gently dig out the hard seed at the bottom of the feeder.

Once we made more room in the seed, I gently pushed the top of the bird’s head down so that he could escape. As soon as he realized his head was free, he took off like a shot, seemingly no worse for the experience.

sparrow_flyingYou know he had a bit of explaining to Mrs. Sparrow when he got back to the nest. I bet she didn’t buy the old “head stuck in the feeder” story.


Saint FogFOG sez:

How do we know it was a male bird? Come on, how many females would push their head into a feeder? At least he has a good story when he meets the rest of the guy sparrows at the local bird bath.