It all started with Wyatt telling my Mom (Momol) that he kept hearing something inside one of the columns that is attached to our back patio area of the house. My Mom began to investigate the concern, and hearing something inside the column also. She stood for awhile and listened. She then came inside and told me that she heard something outside in one of my columns attached to the house. I told her that was impossible because the tops of the columns are sealed off. I proceeded to tell her that birds every year make nests on top of the columns....if there was an opening then they wouldn't be able to do so.
Storms that rolled in, one after another
This happened one or two days prior to the tornado devastation....I had forgotten about the situation, but my Mom and Wyatt continued to mention it to the point of them becoming being annoyed with my lack of concern. I NEVER heard anything. The day before the tornadoes hit Alabama, I finally went outside, stood by the column and quietly listened. I HEARD something, something that sounded like 'flapping' inside the column, at the bottom of the column. We all determined it must be a bird of some sort, but how did it get in there? There must have been an opening at the top of the column. I then proceeded to tell my Mom delicately that there is NO WAY we'll ever get that bird out of that column. I can't tear down a column, cut it in half or destroy part of the home for a little bird. Although deep down inside it really bothered me.
We decided to check things out inside the column, we got a flashlight, and the ladder from the garage. My mom climbed the ladder, on top of the column a half moon shaped hole, and with the flashlight she looked inside the column. At the very bottom of the column, 10 - 12 feet deep, sat a little helpless black bird. Well, it was confirmed, there was a bird, and he was still alive. There was nothing we could do. The next day the tornadoes came in Alabama, we were now without power, the beginning of a long 6 day period of survival mode. I now had other things to worry about, and get my mind off of the bird. We had prayed a prayer of "Lord, please let this bird pass away peacefully if he can't be saved." "I just don't know what to do for him."
Mom about to look inside the column
Well, with out power, we had to open all of the windows....I sat on the love seat next to the window that was opened to the back patio, CONSTANTLY hearing this poor helpless little bird flapping his wings to get possibly 2 or 3 inches off of the ground and fall back down again. I knew he wouldn't get his wings stretched out far enough to bring himself up this column, he had minimal room. The sound of his struggle was making me plain sick. Our family has compassion for people - God's people, but also for God's animals as well.
The whole process started with myself, Momol, Wyatt and Nolan. We stood around by the column and Wyatt said a prayer....went like this..."God, please if you can't save this bird, please take him home to heaven with you, but you can do anything. Love Wyatt". We said a prayer and that was...THAT. Nothing, more we could do.
Sitting there continually listening to this bird not giving up hope, continue to have determination and drive; caused myself and my Mom to start brain storming. I was thinking a very small container with bird food and a string??? What was I thinking that's never going to work???!! The next thing you know my mom comes from the garage with an old Christmas wreath, she says "Lets unravel this, make a long string and insert it down the column. Just maybe the bird can use his beak to hang onto the pieces of wreath while using his feet and wings, maybe he can 'walk' his way out." My first thought - she's nuts - she has really crossed the crazy line now.
The wreath after removing the decorations
We have no power and nothing else to do, if we don't try...he'll die. So we began the process, we took all of the decorations off, unraveled the wreath, straightened it out. I got the ladder from the garage, my mom climbed up inserted the straightened piece of wreath into the column as far as she could, we bent the top last portion to hang out slightly at the very top.
Starting to insert the wreath
The top of the column
The end result
We didn't know if we were trapping him inside, hurting or helping him? We said another prayer and went inside. We sat in the living room watching and praying, the fluttering of wings that we had heard for days stopped for a long while. Either we trapped him, or he finally exhausted himself and he passed away. We finally forgot about him after awhile, but while still sitting on the couch, the next thing we saw was a small black head with a bright yellow beak pop out of the top of the column! Are you kidding me right now? Am I or we seeing what we are really seeing? No way! The next thing we saw was his entire ruffled and wet black feathered body emerge completely. We all stared in amazement at this fragile creature, this little bird that didn't give up and wanted his life and his freedom. He looked around for a short while, getting his bearings back and off he flew within a short minute. We all cheered loudly jumping up and down. We were hugging each other and crying.....well Momol and I were. My Mom and I said, "I can't believe that worked. I just cannot believe it." Wyatt said, "GOD, worked Mommy."
(Disclaimer - the tops of the columns are now stuffed with dishtowels until something more appropriate can be figured out and done.)