Friday, February 02, 2007

It hurts to care so much.

Two ladies I work with came to get me at my office and led me into the college lobby with my eyes closed. They were excited with wide smiles on their faces, then turned me around and said, “Open your eyes and look up!” My heart sunk. There he was again, possibly the same Bluebird we set free earlier this week and the one I named Johnny. Why were those ladies smiling? Because I’d be happy to see a bluebird? Of course. But I’m not happy about this at all. There must be a hole in the building, or something. Bluebirds just don’t follow people through a safety door.

A clump of dust balls from the dirty sills attached to his foot and later fell off. There were only a few people around to help me but many people just don’t care. Comments like, "That stupid robin is back again?" made me cringe. A commandant made the mistake of saying to me, “Do you want me to get Sgt. Moore’s 12-gauge? We’ll only need to take out one window with it.” I thought, “Hardy-har-har, you ASS!” He read my face and instantly left the scene of his crime. The Dean, who helped us earlier this week to free a bluebird, was too busy to help today. Our Associate Dean has a bird phobia since childhood, escapes around corners and pretty much stays locked in her office while a bird is nearby.

A lady janitor helped me prop open doors with the live trees I used before. The bluebird was flying very high today and refused to turn down the hallway with lower ceilings. So we waited with our coats draped over our arms in hopes to use them for shooing.

During the afternoon a few of us checked on Johnny from time to time but we weren’t able to help him. An hour before I left, the traffic in and out of the building settled down and I set out a dish of seed and water on a chair next to the open doorway. The security people agreed to watch for him over the weekend and to prop some doors open when possible.

Just before leaving, I was happy to see he had scattered the seed and pooped on the chair. So I moved the chair to the center of the doorway in hopes the quiet of the afternoon and early evening would relax him enough to investigate the food and water again, then fly out before the doors would be closed.

I don’t know how long his little stressed out body can live, flying from one end of the lobby to the other, resting on a windowsill, desperate for freedom. For reasons I don’t understand, this little bird perched closer to me than anyone else. If he should die in that building, I’ll feel horribly responsible for perhaps not trying hard enough.

My heart is breaking over this one little bird.


Anonymous said...

This is the second unusual blue story I have heard this week. My mom, in northeastern Oklahoma, had one on her porch a few days ago. It is not the season for them to be there.
I hope Johnny made it out okay, and will come back and see if you write about him again.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully it is just Johnny's way of giving you more book material and that he's already outside.
I can't believe people sometimes. I'm sure you gave that weenie commandant a good glare. My heart hurt when I read what he said.

Anonymous said...

I'm not excusing his statement, but sometimes I think people say stupid, insensitive things as a form of bravado- to avoid sounding sensitive and caring. That said, what a dork! You did your best Mary, and really I'll bet he's out by Monday. Remember the sparrow stuck in the grocery store in Letters from Eden? Your Johnny is a tough little survivor.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could come right over and help but you are just a little too far away!! Do you have any bigger butterfly nets or some kind of net on an extended pole? The bird will probably be more weak tomorrow and you should have an easier time getting it out! have you figured out how it is getting in or do you think its going throught the door? Good luck, my heart is with you and wish I could help!

Anonymous said...

I am rooting for Johnny. And you the rescuer. Of course, you will have to let us know how it turns out.
Can the maintenance people there find out where he is getting in and seal it?

Mary said...

Sandy - I'll write again when I get back to work on Monday.

Pam - I'm annoyed with some people but that's the way it is. I just hope the security personnel handle things this weekend.

Lynne - You are right. That commandant came by a few times later today and expressed his concern. He was showing off, I guess, but it didn't impress me...

Monarch - on Monday I'll take my pond net with an extension rod. It's large enough to scoop him if he is weak. I won't be able to get in until Monday, though, as I don't have keys unless the doors are unlocked tomorrow for morning classes. At least he has food and water until then. We don't know how he's getting inside yet, and we need to figure it out. Thanks for your concern!

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for him too. Here's hoping he will be OK over the weekend and soon finds his way to freedom.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping with everything I have that Johnny exits the building this weekend.

I think he's a tough little guy though and will be alright.

Anonymous said...

If this happens again, get meal worms. A few in a shallow, smooth dish will be very inviting to the BB.
Damn men. (Sorry Tom!). I agree that it was just bravado, but like Lynne said, What a dork.
Obviously a vent or something is letting this little guy in. You know, birds are confused all over the place, and he may be investigating a hole on the outside of the building for a nesting cavity and it leads into the inside. And then he can't figure out how to get back out.
A long handled net is a good idea. That's how we catch raptors when they fly into big box stores like Lowe's.
Your heart is breaking because it's a good heart. It does suck to care, but the alternative is to be a big, numb loser.
Keep the faith, Mare.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mary... I do hope he can find his way out again. Like you, I wonder what on earth keeps him trying to get into the building in the first place. You are a dear for caring so much. My heart was breaking as I read your story and saw him stuck inside again. :c(

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dear Mary,

Mealworms are available at any pet shop or bait shop. Start by tossing a few on the floor right under where he's sitting. Then, if you offer them in a brightly colored shallow dish, he'd key right into it. Then you could easily move the dish to the sill of an open window and he'd do the rest. With the exception of sunflower and peanut hearts, bluebirds can't eat seed.
He may be coming in a bathroom exhaust pipe, especially one that opens horizontally to the outside. Look for any hole in the building that opens horizontally. Good luck and I hope he makes it through.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I hope that Johnny escapes from the building but you are not responsible if he doesn't. You did your best -- and more than your best. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your bluebird's having trouble. Reminds me of going into a Home Depot or Lowe's. All the little sparrows that have made the stores their new found home. I don't know whether to be happy for them or sad. I asked an employee about them. Yes, they live there all the time. They scavenge for their food in the store. Seem to prosper, I've never found a dead one yet. I like your photo.