Great Tits (stop giggling!) are a rather small yellow and blue bird in England. We had a small flock of the happy and earnest birds in the vast back garden behind my and Troy’s first flat. One cold and wet May Bank Holiday, the family in our eaves fledged their 8 chicks. I had imagined the parents finally being unable to get onto the nest and with a tiny size 9 talon, shoved the babies out for a few minutes of peace and quiet.
Fledging is a normal process: after the babies are bodily kicked out of the nest, the parents fly back and forth to each of the babies and feed them. However, we decided the local cat population might be a problem… So when we found mama bird with an injured wing, we scooped all the Tits (I said stop giggling!) into a modified shoebox where they could dry out overnight and let them go in the morning. Catching the birds wasn’t difficult but getting them into the box without causing damage was a little scary: at one point one of the baby Tits (Oh come on! Don’t laugh!) hopped up Troy’s arm and proudly shouted from Troy’s shoulder. Our neighbour said that Troy looked like an Effeminate Pirate with a tiny bird on his shoulder! I wanted to get a camera but Troy was keen to get the babies all in the box. We poured handfuls of meal worms into the box and prayed as we set them onto the enclosed porch for the night.
First thing in the morning, Troy was on our porch and checking on the mama and babies. We still had 9 live birds! Troy flung open the front door and as soon as the box top was off, mama was off and out without a thank you. The babies, on the other hand, were more disoriented from their night in a shoebox. Troy found all but one… and then heard chirping from a shoe. The babies had been successfully rescued.