Thursday, December 10, 2009

...and a house finch in my Christmas Tree.

Okay, I know stuff like this happens all the time, but it doesn't make it any less startling.

A few nights ago, as we were walking out of our house on our way out to dinner, I opened the door to a whoosh and a flutter. I think a brave little house finch decided our door hung Christmas wreath would be a cozy place to spend the cold night, and when I opened my door, the poor little creature dashed away... right into my living room.

We were all standing in the hallway- boots, coats, gloves on. We looked at each other blankly as I said, "Um. I think a bird just flew in the house."

For a time, we just watched the little darling fly around wildly, searching for things to land upon. I pointed out to the children how beautiful the bird was- flying through our house. Every time it took off from a landing, Abi screeched and giggled, nervously. Braeden kept pointing and saying, "Bi-! Bi-! Bi-!" He was vexed. He didn't really understand why Mommy let a bird in the house.

A barrage of thoughts and concerns started then.
(How do I get it out?! Hmm... 'out' is not a quick and easy solution. What if I CAN'T get it out!?!? What if I have to KILL IT!?!?)

I'll sate my animal activist friends and ruin the ending now by saying no house finches were injured in the creation of this blog.

I called my dad. Well, he used to watch and band birds, so surely he would have a good suggestion for getting it out. Dad recommended chasing it with a broom.

My mother in law is visiting. She suggested turning off all the lights except the one outside, intending the bird to fly towards the light like a moth.

All I could think of was emptying a plastic tub and trying to place it over the bird... somehow.

Well, alright, I guess I couldn't hope the bird would just fly into a plastic storage tub. It sounded ridiculous to me that a bird would fly to the lights like a moth, and the last thing I wanted to do was be the crazy housewife that ran around the house with a broom in the air... but... these were the ideas presented. I sucked it up.

"Everyone in the car, and wait for me there!" I said, and they piled into the car.

I opened the door, turned on the porch light and turned off all others, and grabbed the broom from the garage (at least with the lights off, the neighbors wouldn't see me running around my house with a broom in the air). Finchy was sitting on my family heirloom wall hanging. I nudged the hanging with my broom, and he was off. Next stop, the ceiling fan. I nudged a blade, and he was off again... deeper into my dark house. The darkness surely confused him, and he was tired by this point. He flew into the highest, darkest corner of my kitchen, then plummeted down, down, down- landing on the pull down blinds on my kitchen nook window. Tub time! I emptied the clothes from a bin I happened to have sitting in my foyer, and i placed it over Finchy. He didn't budge. I slid the lid towards him, and he flitted right into his trap!

All of this transpired in less than 5 minutes, so I stunned the family when I quickly walked out of the house, having captured the intruder. Though I felt like a moron offing the lights and donning a broom... I must say it was a quick and effective catch. You may call me the Bird Whisperer.

I'm not too sure about the moral of the story. A bird in the tub is worth two in the wreath? Stupid things can synergize into solutions? The neighbor swinging around the broom might be crazy, but she can sure catch a house finch? Maybe morals are over rated.

I do recommend though that you tap your doors before opening them during these cold winter nights if you have a particularly warm and cozy door wreath.


  1. If I ever have a bird trapped in my house (that my dog doesn't catch and eat), I'm calling The Bird Whisperer!

  2. Wow, what a saga. You are a hero! The moral, actually, is that it is good to have screen doors! Our wreath is hanging on our outer screen door. A) I think that might make it less cozy than a warm wooden one, and B) Screen doors open out not in. I'll be on the corner selling screen doors today.

  3. Ah, to have been a fly on the wall (or perhaps another bird) ...