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Black Phoenix Bird Sanctuary?

Last night, a crow fell into Brian’s yard. There’s a crow’s nest in the 100+’ pines above his place; the babies have been there for a few weeks. We’re not sure what happened, but one of their brood came tumbling down into the yard yesterday evening. Brian and Jacquelynn kept the dogs away, and tried to see if the bird was ok. I came over as quickly as I could… which was pretty quick, considering that I live about three blocks away. It was really, really dark, and there wasn’t much we could do. The birds in the trees were screaming bloody murder. Eventually, the wayward crow just put his head under his wing and went to sleep.

This morning, we checked on the little guy. Both his eyes were closed (at the time, we thought he was blind), but he wasn’t bleeding anywhere, and his wings and legs seemed to be ok. His feathers were thick and glossy, but s/he was very, very thin. Ted went out to keep the bird calm (he has a way with corvids, it seems), and I called the Wildlife Waystation to see if they could recommend anyone that could help us. Brian was about to go to the feed store and see if he could find any baby bird formula, but I got through to the Waystation, and they referred me to a contact in Burbank for a guy that rehabilitates local wildlife.

To make a long story short, Ted and Brian keep the bird company while we get a box ready (pics when I figure out how to get them off of Ted’s phone and Jax’s camera). They get the baby crow into the box, and we drive him out to Burbank.

The man who helped us, James, is a volunteer with Wildlife Care of Ventura County. He was EXTREMELY helpful, and just… an all-around awesome guy. We took the bird to his mini-clinic, and he let us help out with getting the birdie settled. No bones are broken, his eyes are going to be ok, but he was on the verge of starving to death. We got some drops into his eyes, some food into his belly, and now he’s resting comfortably in the birdie hospice. His accidental name is Sneezy, and we’re going to be paying for his care and, soon, will be doing a fundraiser so that we can help some of the other animals that James and his organization care for.

It was a really great afternoon, actually. I got to pet a tiny little screech owl (blind due to injuries he suffered from being hit by a car), and was introduced to raccoons, squirrels, ravens, crows, pigeons, hawks, and a barn owl that were all there for treatment.

And, to make the afternoon even stranger, the prodigal pea hen is back.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
Awww, I'm glad Sneezy is going to be alright! Sounds like that organization does great work.
Jun. 18th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
What a weirdly wonderful day you had. Hooray for peahen returning & I would buy "sneezy" in 5ml. :)
Jun. 18th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
well you guys ARE black *phoenix* maybe birds just gravitate towards you guys?

I love reading posts like this. :)
Jun. 18th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
Great story! I would certainly buy something for a fund raiser! My own animal care is a little closer to home... I just take in strays, even once a stray goldfish!
Jun. 18th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
That's wonderful :) Yay, for baby crows. Oh, and you have a pea hen in your yard? That's so cool! *grin* We just get common sparrows, pigeons and the occasional blue jays. I still like seeing them though :)
Jun. 18th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
I am just so damn proud to know you. You're making me feel all mushy and shit.
Jun. 18th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Aw, you made my eyes mist up. What a great story. I *really* want to help that organization.
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Pretty avatar... :)

In case you're too eager to wait for BPAL-related giving opportunities ;), their website is here;if you click "Contact Us" there's an email address to write to for info about donating, volunteering, etc.

And bless you for wanting to help, and everyone in Beth's story, bird and human alike. What a touching post.
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the site. I want to help, and last night I found out that for every day my husband rides his bike to work he gets a stamp, and at the end of each quarter each stamp equals a $5 donation toward any charity or organization. He told me he'd pick this one for the upcoming quarter and that he'd try to ride his bike every single workday in order to give a large donation to them. :D
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is so cool!! I love that. That is just teh awesome.

Jun. 18th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Crows are amazing birds - I love them. You guys are good people for looking out for him and all of the other furry creatures that can't always look out for themselves.
Jun. 18th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
so glad to hear that things are going well in birdland! my husband is from ventura county, i think maybe we'll shoot a donation out that way whenever we can and ask his family to do the same since they are out there and very much animal lovers.
Jun. 18th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
We used to have a raven, obtained under much the same circumstances. I nursed it back to health and he just hung around the house. We had him for two years. Eventually, he started wanting to go everywhere with us. We were riding in the car with him and were stopped by the police, who called animal control on us. It turns out that you need a special permit (which I have been studying for after this incident) to keep birds like raptors and corvids. Animal control took him from us and released him into the wild.

Three days later, he was back in our backyard. He never came back in the house though, although he was still hanging out there when we moved.
Jun. 18th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
I think we must have had a sign outside our house when I was growing up: Bring wayward critters here. I can't tell you how many birds we rehabbed that had fallen from their nests. As the neighborhood was full of cats, stray and outside, it was obviously better in the long run that they be brought to us. We had blue jays, robins, a ruby-throated hummingbird, sparrows, and even a horrid grackle who was aptly named Poe.

The one thing we learned through all this was that baby birds love baby food. That and bread soaked in sugar water. It was always a little painful taking the cage out into the backyard, the door wired open, knowing that it could very well be the day the now-stronger bird would fly out and not return.

But it was completely rewarding in its own way, knowing we'd given a helpless critter a second chance at life.
Jun. 18th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
Good luck for the little crow to pull through. I've helped birds in the past too, and you have to be so gentle and calm ~ I can only imagine how scared they must be in that kind of situation... Thank you all for trying to do what you could to give it a second chance ~ for this bird, and all the other precious ones who need a helping hand!

Jun. 18th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
awwww... lucky little guy!

And lucky you! Owls are the best things to pet EVER! I pet one when I was young... 10ish years old, at "zoo camp", (At the Bronx Zoo, NEAT program) either a Barn or a Barred Owl, I can't remember which. To this day, anything I pet that's really soft gets compared to the owl. Talk about a lifetime memory. Most cats don't even compare!
Jun. 18th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
Sigh. The neighborhood feral cat caught and smacked and left a pigeon to die on our back lawn last week. (I turned Miss Woo's highchair away from the scene.) The first time she tried, I scared her off.

The bird died.

I felt awful for the whole day. Damn cat. I could have understood (a bit) if she'd needed to eat, but she didn't.

Damn cat.

Yay you.
Jun. 18th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
You guys are awesome.
Jun. 21st, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
Awesome, just awesome.
Wildlife rehab is fascinating, hard, rewarding and challenging. (I'm not directly involved myself, but have certainly thought about it, and do have friends who are licensed to do this.)
Please keep us posted on Sneezy!
I'm looking forward to contributing heavily to your fundraiser. <3
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )