- Wren Wrangler: One year when the baby wrens left the nest in the evening we happened to be outside when one of them jumped from the house in the front yard. He came flopping toward the drive way and when he saw us he made a left turn into the open garage door. They are so small that it was a job to find him. We got a flashlight and started shining it under everything in the garage.
The first time we spotted him he was under the tool box sitting in the NE corner of the garage. My husband took the whisk broom and gently put it under there to move him out so we could grab him. He came out from under there so fast we couldn’t get him. He made a beeline for the car and crawled under there.
He was chirping all the time we chased him. The mother wren was in the bushes outside the garage door and she was not happy with us chasing him. He ran out from under the first car and then under the one on the west side of the garage. He was hopping from the front to the back as the broom was trying to nudge him toward the garage door.
We finally grabbed him when he ran out from under the car. He was promptly put with the other babies in a bush in the front yard near the nest. I bet he had quite a story to tell the other babies about the giants that were chasing him.
- Frog Herding: One night my husband yelled at me from the back door that a frog was in the garage. I went out to see what he had found. There sitting by the kitchen step was a cute little frog. He was only about 3 inches long and looked content there. My husband grabbed the whisk broom and proceeded to escort him or herd him from the garage.
The frog jumped one way then the other trying to get away from that giant bristly thing that was pushing him along but it kept cutting him off and he had to jump straight for the garage door. He finally found the open door and gladly hopped out onto the drive.
- Turtle Hockey Referee:I looked out the patio door one day when Ms. Lady was living with us and caught her pushing a turtle around or more precisely a Terrapin. He was a pretty big one but was still no match for a 25 pound Cocker.
She treated him like a hockey puck and pushed him one way with her right foot and then bounced over to where he was and quickly pushed him back the other way. I let her spin him in circles and push him around for a few a minutes. When she tried to get her mouth over its back; I called the game due to roughness and took him away from her. I escorted him across the street and set him free in the field.
When I put him down in the grass I waited to see if he was alright. He took a couple staggering steps and finally trundled off into the field. The poor thing walked like he was drunk and he probably was after being spun like a top.
- Robin Rescue:One spring I found a baby bird that was still a ball of fluff. There was a Robin nest in that tree so I thought it must be a Robin chick. I knew I couldn’t get it back in the nest so I put it in a box and took it down to the zoo.
They said they would raise it and turn it loose when it could take care of itself. But then she told me that it was not a Robin but was a Blue Jay. She said the Jays would sometimes lay an egg in a Robin nest and let them raise it. The mother robins didn’t seem to mind and fed it until it could leave the nest. That was the only time I had to rescue a baby Robin or Blue Jay as it turned out and find it a home.
- Hummingbird Referee:I always feed the hummingbirds in the yard and have feeders in the front and a couple in the back yard for them. Not that having more feeders stops the fights but it helps if there are more than one or two pairs.
One year when I was still working in the shop I had a feeder just outside the spare door on the north end of the shop. We had a resident Hummingbird family in the front yard and the male had claimed that feeder for his family. A friend across the street had several Hummingbird feeders and nests in her yard too. For some reason one of her males would make the half block flight over to our yard to eat out of the feeder in our front yard.
The little male that lived here didn’t like that and when the interloper showed up the fight was on. Our little male always sat on a tiny little branch in the big tree in the front yard. I could always see him sitting up there guarding his feeder.
Late in the summer the interloper came over and started to eat out of his feeder. He came down out of the tree like an arrow with his sharp little beak ready to do damage. The interloper flew north of the feeder. The resident male was right on his tail feathers.
The interloper came back but the owner of the feeder was right behind him. I was standing in the doorway of the shop watching them fight. I had never been that close to them when they were out there and was enjoying the show.
All of a sudden our resident male came flying at me and hovered right in front of me, not 6 inches from my nose. He kept moving forward and back and then would fly off after the interloper. The second time he came up to me he was really frantic. It was like he was begging: “Can’t you do something to help me get rid of this interloper?”
I just looked at him and said: “You will have to take care of this on your own little guy.” So he flew after the interloper and ran him back across the street. The interloper came back from time to time but they seemed to have come to an understanding.
I had no idea how to be a Hummingbird Referee so I just had to let him deal with the interloper. These 5 country jobs gave us a chance to get up close and personal with the visitors to our yard. To contact Sandy: [email protected]