Friday, May 25, 2012

When Progress Clashes with Nature!

There is a vacant lot behind the building where I work...many of the businesses on the main street and the street where I work are backed by this lot and so its used for parking...and the main trash dumpster is there.

The city has been working on replacing a collapsed drain line since February. First they had to move all sorts of buried electrical wires, gas lines, cable lines, water lines its been a realy PIA for us......and then last week they started at the back of the lot where an alley runs up and they are installing huge 4 foot diameter cement pipes...    WELL this spring between the initial phase of the work and the final stage, a Northern Mockingbird build a nest in the trumpet vine that clumps around this ONE lone Utility pole in the middle of the vacant lot...last yr I took a photo of the trumpet vine when it was in bloom. 
My coworker and I take our folding chairs out back and sit in the shade and enjoy our lunch on nice days...and we watched the Mockingbird feed her new chicks...THEN disaster!!
THE city moved all their heavy equipment into the lot and started digging a huge trench to bury the huge pipes...SO there was big dump trucks, earth movers, big bucket trucks the whole lot was like Ground Zero...

You can just see the pole in the middle of these machines with the dangling vine where the nest the time I took this photo the chicks were still in the nest...

the pole in right in the center of the photo with a man standing beside it

The 2 chicks in the nest were scared to death...not quite ready for fledging but almost they clung to the edge of the nest as the huge movers and shakers rumbled past sometimes within inches of them....I told the crew boss about the chicks and he said they would try to NOT harm the for 3 days straight they endured this onslought of construction  the mother was so stressed but she continued to feed them THEN one chick was gone from the nest when I arrived on Thrusday morning...I watched the lone chick thru the widow while I worked... checking on him every 20 minutes or so via binoculars.....he screamed all day, but mother didnt come. I think the other chick must have jumped from the nest  when the men knocked off about 6:30 on Wednesday evening, because when I left at 5 that evening,  I checked and both chicks were hanging in there....SO maybe mother was able to coax the one chick to the heavy brush cover behind a fence in a safe area on the adjoining lot...but the lone chick was left behind--- Mother never showed all day while he barely clung to the edge of the nest, I had to go out once and ask them to pull the huge dump truck up as they had it sitting with the motor running and the exhaust pipe aimed right at the nest..
By the end of the day I realized this little bird was doomed So I got a ladder and rescued the bird and got the nest too....there had been a third chick in the beginning...but it was dead.
SO I brought it home...
Its feathered as you can see but no primary feathers at all....some flapping of wings but thats it...
SO for now Im keeping it in my "sick bay" box where I keep the house finches when they have conjunctivites...but now its the weekend I plan to move him to a bigger cage I have in storage.
HE IS eating good, canned dog food!! So I hope I can finish raising this chick..if the mother had continued to feed it no problem..but with all that work going on she Flew The Coop with the other chick...I did look for the other chick in case he fell and got run down but it was impossible to tell with all the frehsly moved earth...I hope he did make it.

I am really sorry I didnt get them the day before but mom bird was still flying in and doing her best to feed them...SHE just got overrun, I was afraid to go out there myself when all that equipment was there,,,the photo up there is only the dump truck and the big scoop, they had many other machines there as the day progressed!!
SO Wish me luck...
I was a volunteer bird rehabber in the past so I have some experience in helping wild animals...not usually so young is all...



  1. Hi Sondra...poor little guy : { but also lucky to have gotten out of that place with his life!!
    Your a good Mom ; } ,and I am sure he will be just fine, and will be calling you Mom soon ..just teasing!!
    Love a good deed story : } ..thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thank you Grace, Im always "saving" the world one little bit at a time! Im a sucker I guess...

  2. A sad story Sondra, but I hope your efforts can bring a happy ending for the poor little chick.

    1. HI Keith, thanks for your support! He is eating well and seems quite happy!

  3. Aww... What a bummer... I hope everything works out for the little guy (or gal?).. He or she is super adorable. I found this video that you might be able to relate to right now: Good luck!!

    1. Thanks Jen, that was such a cute video...the Husky reminds me of my sisters dog JIM he has those same baby blues! I am gonna go dig some worms tomorrow for my bird! Those looked he didnt like the crickets I got. HE loves dog food--but Im sure worms will be better....THE race track has a huge manure heap its easy to find BIG wigglers.

  4. You are such a good Mommy! And your baby is adorable. Best of luck to you both.

    1. Thank you Diana....I really am enjoying your UTAH rambles!!

  5. Sondra, My heart goes out to the poor Mother Mocker and chicks.:(
    Thankfully you rescued the one and have rehab experience. Who would have thought they would eat canned dog food!?! Wishing you the greatest luck.

    BTW...Thanks for your comment on Nature Center Magazine. One day we really must meet for a hike or bird walk!

    1. I agree!!!! THAT would be awesome---I do plan to go the Toccoa, GA THERE IS A WATERFALL THERE, thats on my list of ones to see..Dont know exactly when, but maybe we can hook up at that time!!!


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