Duane and I had driven to Malibu to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. We'd spent the day doing some shopping in the Valley and had just sat down for a meal when we received a message from Jo at the California Wildlife Center. She had a report of a bird stuck in the CVS drugstore in Malibu and though we might be interested in responding.
I called CVS and spoke with Kare, the store supervisor. She said the bird had been trapped in the building since yesterday, Christmas, and during the night it kept setting off the security alarm system.
I had Kare describe the bird's behavior. It seemed to be attracted to the windows at the front of the store, landing on signs and hanging wires, but not for long - it kept circling the store, looking for a way out.
This rescue could not wait - we needed to act quickly.
We grabbed some supplies at a Home Depot - 10' lengths of PVC pipe, packages of 45' X 14' garden netting and some electrical tape, then headed for our hometown, Malibu.
We were on scene just before 7:00 PM. Kare greeted us enthusiastically and pointed out the bird.
There it was, flitting the perimeter of the drugstore - a yellow-rumped warbler, likely the 'Audubon's race' (so I'm told by my birder-friend).
Warblers eat insects and seeds and in fall and winter they consume the ripened fruit of a variety of plants including juniper, wax myrtle, and poison oak.
We watched the bird for a few minutes, looking for a pattern. It circled the store in a particular direction, counterclockwise (from North). It landed on the windowsills at the front of the store, and was most interested in the window above the store entrance. Good.
Jonsie Ross, one of the wildlife center's responders joined us for the rescue. Together, we brought in the equipment and began assembling large panels of netting that we would use to confine the bird to a smaller space where it could be netted by hand.
Positions were assigned - Kare, Jonsie and I would work the paneling and Duane would be on the long handled net.
Just as we'd gotten set up, the bird flew in. We raised the wall of netting and it was trapped! Duane encouraged it to fly into the netting until he was able to get it contained.
After untangling it from the lightweight mesh, Duane took the little bird outside and set it free.
Check out the video:
Thank you Jo for alerting us of the emergency and THANK YOU! Jonsie for your assistance!
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