Today is National Pet Bird Day! OK, we know, every day is national something something, but it gives us a good excuse to post some really beautiful bird tattoos. Not to mention, it also gives your humble writer an opportunity to rant about the horrors of having a bird in the house.
To be clear, I'm not talking about having a pet bird in the house. A little cockatoo sitting on your shoulder while you cook would be delightful, especially if that birdie was mimicking all of your various curse words. That's the best.
No, I'm talking about when a wild bird gets into the house uninvited. It is pure chaos. And horror.
A couple of years back, around Christmas time, a bird got into our house. We had a fake holly wreath on the front door, complete with little red berries made out of styrofoam. Despite the berries being as far from food as an object could be, the neighborhood birds loved them. They kept landing on the wreath, trying to enjoy a delicious red berry, then flying off with what I can only imagine was a crushing wave of disappointment when they found out the berries were a holiday-themed ruse.
On the day in question there was a package on the front stoop. Absentmindedly, I threw open the door and grabbed the package and brought it inside. What I did not ascertain was that there was a tiny bird—I think it was a chickadee—sitting on the wreath. I locked eyes with the beast while closing the door. It was at this point that I recognized how fraught the situation was, so I halted my movement and attempted to move in slow motion. I assumed if I moved the door quickly the bird would just fly into the house, but if I moved slowly I might be able to get the door shut before the bird caught on to what was happening. Turns out my efforts were all for naught, and the bird took flight, heading directly into our living room.
What happened over the period of the next 10 minutes is still a blur, but I can tell you it was utter pandemonium. There was so much screaming from my mother, but honestly, I think most of it was in delight. This was an event. We did not invite this bird in, we had to do everything we could to get it the hell out of the house, but it was exciting! This is the sort of thing my mom relished.
My girlfriend rushed around the house, closing every door so that we could contain the little bird. I ran to the garage, scanning the shelves to find some sort of tool—a broom, a butterfly net, a hockey stick, anything that could help us gently encourage the bird to vamoose. In the end, I settled on a Swiffer. It seemed to be less lethal, and most importantly, whatever I bumped into with it would be less likely to break. While I never would hurt a cute little birdie, I was far more worried about incurring the wrath of my mother.
The bird mostly flew around the living room in circles, completely oblivious to all of the silly humans running around trying to herd it back into the outdoors. Then, when it got tired of flying circles, the bird darted right out the door, never to return.
It was an ordeal that we look back on fondly. Especially because, in the end, the bird was able to make it to safety. And, perhaps more importantly, we weren't inadvertently saddled with a new pet bird who refused to leave our home.
Happy National Pet Bird Day!