Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 825

We saved a bird yesterday.  Well, I hope we did. I think it's now safe ...

We were driving down a coastal road (yes, we've been back at the coast again this weekend) and I saw a seagull hanging with its wings spread between two power wires.  My first thought was that it was fried having touched both wires at once creating a seagull crisp, but at closer inspection I noticed his head moving. Shit Derek, that bird's still alive! Husband stopped the car, reversed and we noticed the bird was wrapped in fishing line which was then wrapped around the wires. Shit, shit, shit. That poor bird.  His head was moving from side to side in distress. I couldn't imagine how he must be feeling.

We realised that the whole electrical wire thing was a bit dangerous to all concerned so we couldn't do anything physically to help the bird, but we could call an expert.  But who do you call?

Husband suggested the fire brigade. So we took a drive past the fire station but no one was home.  So I then called the wildlife rescue hotline and a lovely girl took my details and said she'd call back within 10 minutes.  In the meantime Derek called into the police station and they were surprisingly helpful.  As Derek explained to them, it may "just be a seagull" but it was distressing to watch and in a busy area you wouldn't want a bunch of kids climbing the telegraph pole trying to save it.  Seagull crisps are one thing, but human chippies are quite another.

Meanwhile I got a referred phone call from a lovely lady at the Australian Sea Bird Rescue Association. The wildlife rescue lady had passed on my details.  She was located around 300km away but was keen to do something to save this bird from further stress.  I told her we'd spoken to the police and that they were contacting the electricity people.  She followed up with the police just to be sure that all was on track.

The anxiety in the pit of my belly was subsiding somewhat now that I knew a team of people were on the job.

Why all this for a seagull you might ask?  Because they feel pain.  They also feel joy. Shouldn't it be our mission to help others experience joy over pain every day? Seagulls are worthy of living their best life just like the rest of us.  All in all, it wasn't just about the seagull.

Was it rescued? Well, we did head back to where he was and found a very kindly electrical expert at the scene.  He was waiting for the cherry picker to arrive so that he could rescue our birdie.  I then rang the lovely lady at the Australian Sea Bird Rescue Association to report on progress.  She thanked me for caring.

I'm not telling you this to big note myself.  Well, maybe just a little bit. But not really.  I just wanted to say that through the simplest action one person (even a couple) can make a difference. I don't know how many cars drove past that bird, or how many people walked past.  I don't know if there were people who thought perhaps they couldn't make a difference.   Or didn't care. But there were at least 7 who knew that they could change the outcome - Husband, police man, wildlife girl, sea bird rescue lady, electrician, cherry picker driver and me.   Proving yet again that we can all make a difference by the smallest of actions ... each individual action being far greater than the sum of its parts.  We can all create joy over pain if we try hard enough.

Best wishes Mr Seagull. Hope you feel better ...


  1. Good on you guys. My husband and I have on occassion happened upon injured birds and animals and we always help. How could you not, every living thing has value.We live in queensland and have called on Australia Zoo ( The Irwin's) when we had a sick Ibis in our yard they were fantastic came and picked the bird up ,phoned us with a progress report then involved us with its release back into the area when it was well. There are lots of wonderful people who care a lot about our Flora and Fauna. Good on YOu!!!!

  2. It's good to know that for every person that turns a blind eye, there are many more who take action. And as I said, it's not just about the bird(s) ... it's injecting a big dose of humanity into the world each time someone takes the time out to care ... which has a flow on effect.
    That's a lovely story about Australia Zoo. The follow up is such a nice bonus ...

  3. Nicely done. I'm sure the seagull is much happier now.

    There's that story about someone on a beach throwing starfish into the water and is told the effort is not going to make a difference. But the person just keeps doing it and says it makes a difference to the ones I throw back in.

    I think about that story often. Your post today is like that.

  4. I love that story! It is a Hawaiian tale and I relayed it in a post about a year ago. The boy's response is by throwing another starfish back into the ocean and saying "well it sure made a difference to that one!" That story inspires me often. Thanks for reminding me of it E ...


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