Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Mighty Hunter

When I got home from the grocery store yesterday, the Engineer announced that he had caught a bird. One of the cats had brought it in, then both of them chased it all over the upstairs. He had been downstairs in his office (on the other side of the 3/4 bath from mine) when it happened, but it took him a few crashes to figure out they weren't just galloping.

We have a little loft over the master bedroom, but no way to access it yet. The bird had lighted on the loft railing. The cats were trying to leap from the top of the dresser to grab it, but their claws couldn't get purchase on the hard oak. They kept crashing back down onto the dresser, knocking everything off it.

When the Engineer realized what was going, he reacted in typical fashion.

First he assembled his tools: step stool, old bath towel, butterfly net, latex gloves(!?!)

He placed the stool on the floor below the bird. He donned the gloves and laid the towel on the bed nearby. Then he stepped up on the stool and scooped the bird into the butterfly net. He carried the bird in the net to the back door and let it fly. He didn't even need to use the towel.

He wanted to know what kind it was.

"Was it one of those little brown birds with the rosy colored head?" I asked.


"What color was it?"

"Uh, gray? It sat straight up."

"Was it blue on top and light gray underneath?"


"Probably a scrub jay, we get lots of those at the feeder."

"Yeah, it was a scrub jay."

"Did it squalk and scream a lot?"

"No, it was quiet."

At that, I hoped the poor bird hadn't been too badly hurt because jays are nothing if not loud.

This morning I pointed out a scrub jay to him. He said, "It looked like that only smaller. It must have been a baby."

Not at this time of year.

I suspect the Mighty Hunter caught either a nuthatch or a junco.

Gotta admit, my favorite part
of the whole thing was the mental
image of him wearing latex
gloves to protect himself
from bird cooties.

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