On Thursday evening, we received a call from a man named Jean who had a bird stuck in his utility room, and he needed help to get it out. Normally, we would advise closing the doors and windows, turning off all the lights and drawing the curtains or blinds, but leave just one door or window wide open. In many cases, a trapped bird (or bat) will follow the light to exit.
Only in this case, there was no window, and the Jean didn’t know how the bird got in. In fact, he couldn’t even be sure it was a bird, since he he heard flapping but hadn’t seen the source of the sound. So we advised him to go into the room with a box, a light towel, and a plastic container, and to be prepared for either a bird or a bat. We instructed him on ways to capture a bird or a bat (the latter without getting bitten, which is key), and to call us when he got it so we could decide on the next steps.
We didn’t get a progress report until Friday morning: It was a bird, not too large, not tiny, but he couldn’t capture it. So, even though we’re not exactly in the bird-trapped-in-house business, we said we’d try to find a volunteer who could help. As it happens, a recently recruited Safe Wings volunteer, Shiwa, used to work with a Dutch bird rescue and seemed more than qualified to deal with this situation.
Apparently, Shiwa and Jean had a bit of an adventure, which ultimately involved cutting a hole in the wall to get the bird: a very tired and hungry European Starling. Shiwa brought it to the Wild Bird Care Centre, where he also volunteers.
No word on how the bird got in there in the first place, but Starlings are cavity nesters that do sometimes end up in houses. This one was very lucky that Jean cared enough to make sure it got out.