From wildlife writer/photographer Trileigh Tucker, the tale of a baby bird’s rescue – and what to do if you see one in trouble:
A West Seattle neighbor was a real wildlife hero this afternoon.
From my house, I heard an unusually loud Steller’s Jay cacophony in the park, but figured it might just be a bunch of nestlings calling to Mom and Dad for dinner. Shortly after that I heard a bunch of crows shrieking up a storm, and finally realized I should probably go check it out. I should have done this right away.
Several people were standing around a baby Steller’s Jay that had been harassed out of its nest by crows, who were apparently harassing and poking at it on the ground until Guardian Angel #1 stepped in to disperse them. Guardian Angels #2 and #3 were staying with the little bird – at first they thought it was dead, but then saw it was breathing. I picked it up and it held on tightly to my finger, so I knew it might be OK. We looked up in the nearby trees for the nest, hoping to put it back, but couldn’t find it. The parent jays were nearby but didn’t seem to be at their nest.
We put him in a box, then called PAWS in Lynnwood, who said to bring it up there for rehabilitation. So Guardian Angel #2, whose name is Marjorie Severson [photo above right], a generous and kind West Seattleite who volunteered to drive the little baby jay all the way up to Lynnwood for PAWS to help him out! I’m attaching her photo with the baby bird. She truly is an angel helping out the forest creatures.
This is fledging season, when a lot of baby birds risk injury or shock. If people find a baby bird on the ground but alive, the thing to do is to put it in a dark quiet box (with gaps so it can breathe), then call PAWS: 425-412-4040. This is their wildlife number, open 8-8 seven days a week, and they’ll tell you what to do. Everyone, put this number in your cellphones!