Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Narrow escape

This morning, Lab and I were out in our front yard.  I usually sit out with her while I have coffee. I'd finished my coffee and thought I'd take a walk around her.  I saw her suddenly go into 'watch' freeze and then saw her running towards something.  Without my glasses I couldn't see what it was.  But I ran up to where she was real fast.  I was sure it would be a squirrel.  But what did I see, but our pal here in the picture, a baby woodpecker who'd obviously landed down there and now couldn't take off!  You can see that his eyes are hardly open and his tail is sort of damp!

Luckily our Lab is curious first.  So she'd just got round to smelling the little thing when I reached her.  I somehow grabbed hold of her collar and had to wrestle with her to get her into the house and away from this little one.  After putting her out back with some treats, I ran back with my camera.  I was in time to see Mama sitting there too and urging baby to fly--maybe.  But the minute I tried to open the window screen to take a picture, Mama flew off.  I waited quietly inside to see if Mama would return, but she didn't.  So then I went outside.  I waited around and then felt I just couldn't leave baby there, because it was only a matter of time before either a stray cat or a mongoose caught hold of it.
I went up to him/her talking all the while.  That's when I got to take the picture.   After that I thought I'd gently lift him up using a leaf, so that my scent wouldn't be left on him.  But he tried to peck me!  Finally I got a thin twig, onto which he was able to climb.  As I lifted the twig up, thinking I'd place him on the nearest tree, he flew off.  He landed further off somewhere, where I'm sure Mama would have come and taken him off.
You should have seen him though crying out for his Mama.  He would let out his shrill cry and then look skyward.  I sure hope he and Mama are fine.


  1. Yes Murr I do hope so! Baby just didn't know how to fly properly, or else I would never have got this picture, cos I have a very ordinary camera, with not much zoom. Aren't his colours wonderful?

  2. Gorgeous looking bird Hg, I think mum would have been ready to dive at you if she sensed you intended any harm to her little one. Aren't moment's like this great when you can take a closer look at the nature on our doorsteps*!*

  3. But Bimbimbie, I actually tried to pick him up and then managed to get him on the stick, but there was not a chirp from mum. I think woodies are too wary of humans.


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