Friday, June 29, 2012

There's no place like home

It was around 6:00 Thursday evening and 99 degrees in the shade. I was sitting out at the barn with my camera, 
hoping I could capture something exciting for Friday's blog post without having to leave the comfort of my chair and break a sweat.

It wasn't happening. For an hour, I watched Lucy and the boys eat as half-hearted storm clouds formed in the east,
but then the wind kicked up and I didn't want the dirt to wreck the camera, so I headed back toward the house.

I opened the gate into the back yard and saw that Smooch had something cornered behind her chair.
Swell, I thought. I'm about to die from heat stroke and now I've got to deal with a snake or something.

Turned out it was just an itty bitty swallow who had left his nest before earning his pilot's license. 
I sent Smooch into the house while I figured out a plan.

What am I going to do with you, Little One?

Hold on tight while I climb on this chair and try to put you back in the nest 
while attempting to take pictures so I'll have a blog post for tomorrow.

So far so good.

But just as I ever so gently placed Little One into the nest...

He half jumped, half flew down to the ground.

Me: You knucklehead!

Little One: Those weren't my peeps. Wrong nest.

To add insult to injury, it had started to rain - one of those infamous New Mexico quarter-inch rains,
where a drop of rain falls every quarter inch and you say is that it?
Still, the potential was there for a downpour and Little One wouldn't stand a chance in a storm.

Me: Come on, Little One, let's see if we can figure out where you belong. 

Not wanting to traumatize Little One any more than I had to, I scooped him up and placed him in a tray 
along with an interim nest, made from a pile of Lucy's hair which had accumulated near the hitching rail. 

Me: What do you think, Little One? Does that look like home?

Little One: Why, yes it does, as a matter of fact. Thanks for the lift.

Me: Glad to be of service.


  1. Love your blog!! Found you about a week ago....faithful follower now!

  2. I LOVE animal stories with a happy ending. Too few! Good Smooch for not swallowing it in one bite. Poor little bitsy thing facing up the whole wide world from his inch high... so lucky you removed two recent intruders that would have made a meal of him in a heartbeat... all in all, well done every one!

  3. Those swallows sure made themselves at home eh! ;-) I like this kind of excitment in the evening.

  4. I love how baby birds have that tiny look of indignation on their faces. Glad Smooch knows the good guys from the bad guys. I'm sure the baby was glad to be back in the nest for the time being. :)

  5. Smooch is such a good girl!

  6. Good for you. One of my images from childhood is my crusty Forest Service dad returning birds to their nests in our barn.

  7. Oh how this makes me smile.

  8. Too funny, taking pictures while holding tray and bird and standing on a chair, just to have something to blog about. Hope those clouds produce rain somewhere to help out firefighters.

  9. You did the right things! I volunteer at a wildlife rehab, and we recommend renesting the bird or making a temporary nest, if the parents are still around. Kudos to Smooch for not hurting it or worse!

  10. Hm. Maybe "Little One" calmed down and felt more relaxed because he/she was nesting in a Mexican Beer pan - with Lucy's residual hair, of course!

  11. This is such a sweet story and one that you coulda used for my Celebrate Oz blog party in July. And the baby bird is so adorable. Thanks for sharing this Rancher Woman to the rescue story.
    Oma Linda

  12. Wonder if he told his Mom about his adventure. He's too cute with his long wing and tail feathers. The things you do with a camera in your hand!

  13. The fall from up there onto the hard ground must have been horrible! Poor little squirt. How sweet it looked with its little tufts of feathers sticking out all over the place. Good thing it had Smooch to protect it from snakes. So glad you got it back home safely and brought us along.

    BTW, I like the little heart the flymask masks on Lucy's forehead.

  14. Good girl Smooch! Loved the photos of the attempts to get birdy back to its' nest and the success.

  15. Swallows are so smart. A lady at our Wildlife Care association specializes in them. She has one entire room in her house where she rehabs and raises them. She says they're fascinated by people's mouths, you have to keep yours closed when you're in the room or they'll fly around your face to check out the "hole." Also, if one of the babies is stressed, the adults will get beakfulls of water and bomb the intruder. Thanks for rescuing your baby.

  16. Wonderful post with a very happy ending!!! Thanks for the Friday smile!!

  17. Smooch is such a good dog. Mine would not have had as much self control. Good blog post with a happy ending :o)

  18. awww how sweet. I am so glad it found its way back to its home with a little help from you and smooch. Well worth the heat stroke!

  19. KarenK in Portland6/29/12, 10:23 AM

    What a sweet story! When I was a kid in New Mexico, my Dad used to call that "6 inches of rain," meaning there was a raindrop every 6 inches.

  20. Well done, Bird Whisperer! A lovely birdie story with a happy ending...thanks very much for the photos. Hope Little One puts in more training hours for his Pilot's License..ha-ha!!

  21. I just have to leave a comment on this one!

    I do believe I've heard that phrase somewhere before. Did it click its little heels together before he launched into the correct nest?

    Thanks for the help Ma!

  22. And a big collective "awwwwwwwwwwwwwww"! That is so sweet!