Sunday, February 21, 2010

FEAR OF FLYING—THINGS part 5

Two young ladies were guests at our house and were staying in the basement bedroom. We were all preparing to go out when Youngest Son, who was home on spring break, pulled DH and me aside and said he could hear something flapping and tapping in the stove pipe above the wood stove (not in use because of warmer weather).

Whatever was in the pipe sounded big, maybe too big to make its way into the fire box. The sounds were coming from behind the damper so I made sure it was open and we waited until the guests left the next morning before checking the situation again.

There were no sounds coming from the pipe and it appeared quiet and dark in the stove when DH peeked in. Then he slammed the door shut. I took a turn to look in and saw a full grown female woodpecker staring back at me. I sent DH for a trash bag. He was more than willing to leave the room. He hated things with feathers. While he was gone I looked around and noticed the heavy wire basket we used to haul in firewood. I turned it upside down and held it over the stove and opened the door. Seeing a chance for freedom the woodpecker flew out and became trapped when her head got stuck between the wires of the basket. She continued to struggle, and I was worried she would be able to work her way free. So I took a deep breath, reached into the basket and carefully closed my hand around the bird’s body and eased her out. I was afraid she would try to bite me, but I guess the only motion a woodpecker can make with its head is short jabs and these were not aimed at my hand. Just then DH came back with the trash bag. I think it took a lot of courage for him to stand his ground. He did not come in for a closer look as, again, I carried another bird to freedom in the wild.

What is really strange about the woodpecker story was the total replay a few days later. This time it was a male who showed up in the stove, maybe the mate to the one who visited earlier. Again I caught him in the basket and gathered him in my hand. He had bright red markings under his beak and a black bib. The underside of his tail was a salmon red. We were able to identify him later as a red shafted flicker. I asked DH to take a picture of the bird.  He got out his little digital camera, but he had a real hard time making himself get close enough for a good shot and both pictures were blurred.


I had him get my camera with a bigger lens so he could stand farther back and be a little steadier as he snapped a few pictures before I let the bird go.

I can’t help but wonder if the female woodpecker told her mate to climb down that hollow tree and just see what happened since he wouldn't believe her hysterical story of why she was late coming home.

10 comments:

Pam said...

Yes, I think I've egged on my husband to do things much to his later embarrassment. One was to take the canary to the vet, convincing him it looked poorly...only for the vet to tell him "It's plainly seasonally moulting, and I don't agree with these cane type of cages you put your canary in".Your bird story is fun and also a good story for the two birds to repeat next time there's a branch meeting!

frayedattheedge said...

Another lovely story! And yes, I groaned at Pam's comment!!

Deborah said...

I love the photo. You have a natural born story teller. I know the animals in my life have a good laugh at me every now and again.

DayPhoto said...

What a delightful story. You at least got your birds out. I know of some people who didn't and they died in there.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Linda Sue said...

What a beautiful bird! So many stories, "that which you fear you bring about" comes to mind...Thank you for being the saviour to flying things- I told my cockatiel the stories and he wants to have a poster made of you for his room...HERO!

Laura said...

What a beautiful Wood Pecker. I love the spots; haven't seen one of those around here.

Elizabeth said...

At least it wasn't a bat
they always make me rather anxious.
This is such a beautiful bird!

Jill said...

A lot of people seem to dislike flying things especially in the house - good job one of you didn't mind. This is a lovely looking bird - and I really love your idea of his misses 'egging' him on.

Krista said...

Your husband is very brave! You get to do all the fun stuff (imagine that being said like a whiney nine year old)!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Wow, this was a delightful story and both birds with a happy ending! What a pretty little thing..love those markings- such pretty speckles!