Monday, May 25, 2015
A lot of people hate starlings. They're messy, sometimes obnoxious, and more than that they're nonnative, the ultimate condemnation if you're a birdwatcher or a natural history purist.
Why would anyone help a starling?
I got a comment in an unrelated Facebook thread from someone I didn't know. For those of you in FacebookLand, commenting on the Facebook wall of someone you don't know is the only way to get a message to them; any private message is going to their Other inbox, along with all the spammy proposals from impossibly handsome single men from the UK that all start: "Hello dearest I am captivated by your smile you seem to be a lovely lady..."
Cynthia had found a baby bird on the ground at our local Applebee's, which, like most Applebee's, is ringed by parking lot. Ergo, there would be three choices as to species: Starling, house sparrow, and (long shot) American robin.
Hi Julie my name is Cynthia and I was told you might be able to help me. Last night when leaving Applebee's we found I would guess a 8 day old baby blue jay. I run a rescue w 7 indoor cats at the moment 2 dogs and 3 goats. I am needing a rehome because I can not provide the safety for him/her. He is eating well and is uninjured. My number is xxxxxxxx if you could contact me I would greatly appreciate it.
photo by Cynthia Starling
My first response was nuh-uh.
I didn't hear any more. Now it gets interesting. I'm in town that same day, May 9, running a million Saturday errands, including getting Liam to the BMV for his learner's permit test, finding out we didn't have proper ID so would have to come back; buying him some summer shorts because he's run out of them, picking up plants and bales of potting soil and straw, banking, grocery shopping...the back of my car looks like this. The inside of my brain is considerably less attractive.
But as I'm driving by, I decide to go check out the situation at Applebee's, see if I can find where that nest might be, and see what the chances are, if any, that Cynthia might be able to reach it to dump the baby starling back in it. The first thing I see when I get there is a pair of starlings perched on the wooden fence around the Dumpster, holding food in their bills. Well, there are the parents, and they're on the job. Good.
The next thing I see is a car in the parking lot with its driver's door open, and there is a woman in the front seat typing hurriedly on her phone. She happens to be posting this message. To me.