Seagulls – we normally curse them for:
- crapping on our cars like they just took a laxative;
- circling around waiting for you to drop a crumb so they can dive-bomb for it; and
- squawking like those gulls in Finding Nemo, “Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.”
Today, however, my heart broke for one. Yes. A seagull. I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning and there was one hobbling around with his right wing dragging on the ground. As he ran, he also favoured his right leg. To see an avian so helpless was gut-wrenching.
Not knowing what to do I calmly followed him. I got a bit ahead of him, stopped and turned. We were about 10 feet or so from each other in a stare down. You could feel the hurt in his eyes. And then wham! Out of nowhere another gull swooped down and body slammed him, literally knocking him over. There may have been tears at this point. I know, sap.
After shooing the bully away, I started to share my lunch with Fred Agull. Yes, it didn’t take long before I had named him. His favourite food is cashews. I emailed a few colleagues who came out to help me corner Fred so I could wrap him in a blanket and take him somewhere as I couldn’t bear to see him in pain or get beat-up more by the bullies.
But where do you take a broken-wing seagull? Luckily one of my co-workers knew of the Wild Bird Care Centre and called them. If I could get the bird there they would take him in.
We swaddled Fred Agull like you could a newborn and placed him in a box. The staff at the Wild Bird Care Centre had indicated he would settle if his head was covered. Fred Agull and I drove in silence (I didn’t want to stress him anymore by playing a style of music that wasn’t his) and thirty minutes or so later pulled into their parking lot. It was the perfect natural setting for birdies.
The staff were friendly and efficient. I said my good-byes to Fred Agull and they took him in the back to set him settled. A few minutes later they gave me a card with an ID number. I could call in 2 – 3 days for an update.
My fingers are crossed that in no time Fred will be out stamping his feet with the others to imitate rainfall and trick earthworms to come to the surface. Really. That’s what they do. The interwebs told me so so it’s got to be true, right?0