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How do you get a wild bird out of the house?
June 24, 2005 11:54 AM   Subscribe

How do you get a bird out of the house? It's in the kitchen right now.

The cat brought a possibly slightly wounded large (pigeon sized) bird into the house. We've tried shooing it out the open kitchen door, no luck, catching it, no luck, and leaving the house for a couple hours with both doors propped open. No luck. Every time you come near it freaks out completely. Help! To make it worse, I'm not home. My kids (ages 13 & 22) are, so I'm making suggestions by phone from my office.
posted by mygothlaundry to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
 
What you have to do is throw a towel or blanket over it, then gather it up (gently!) in the towel, take it outside, put the bundle on the ground open end up and let it find it's way out.
posted by Capn at 11:57 AM on June 24, 2005 [1 favorite]


Many animals are sensitive to light. So if you open your doors, cover every window with a towel or blanket. Hopefully the bird will migrate toward the light source.
posted by jasper411 at 12:02 PM on June 24, 2005


jasper's got it. Best chance for not hurting the bird.
posted by jaysus chris at 12:16 PM on June 24, 2005


I'll second the towel suggestion, and add that, once they catch it, they should hand it over to Animal Control if it's injured, instead of just throwing it back outside.

Good luck!
posted by saladin at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2005


I also have had excellent luck with covering every window and opening one door. I think it's a good thing to try before trying to catch the bird.
posted by redfoxtail at 12:20 PM on June 24, 2005


I'm lucky enough to live near an animal sactuary where i've taken injured birds. Maybe you have a similar situation? This would require catching it with a towel. And if you need additional tips on wounded bird care, hit me up.
posted by puke & cry at 12:29 PM on June 24, 2005


When I briefly worked at the animal rehab clinic at a nature center in Michigan, one of the first things we learned was to let the cat have its prey if it's wounded, find a way to kill it humanely, or get it to a wildlife rehab clinic. Cat saliva is chock full of bacterial nasties that will likely infect the wound and doom the animal to a long, painful death if left untreated.

Er, not that it's helpful now. If you know of a rehab clinic try the towel thing, otherwise go with jasper's suggestion.
posted by schroedinger at 12:33 PM on June 24, 2005


I had to go home, since not only was there a dove in the kitchen, but also a wounded baby rabbit in the dining room. This has NOT been my day.

I caught the dove gently in a towel and took it outside, where it flew away. I caught the bunny in a box - it was in bad shape, but we tried to make it comfortable with water, lots of leaves and some carrots from the garden, and animal control came and took it away.

Thanks to everyone for your helpful & prompt replies! The cat gets belled tonight. There's a reason - blind hound dog who chases cats - why that hasn't happened yet, but enough is enough.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2005


blind hound dog who chases cats

There's a great folk/blues song in there.

posted by languagehat at 2:26 PM on June 24, 2005


What you have to do is throw a towel or blanket over it, then gather it up (gently!) in the towel, take it outside, put the bundle on the ground open end up and let it find it's way out.
posted by Capn at 11:57 AM PST on June 24 [!]
That's the trick.

It's a lot easier if you can get the bird up against a window, trying to fly through the glass. It's a lot easier to get the tablecloth/towel/sheet around them this way.

I got a lot of practice with this technique getting swarms of hummingbirds out of an old restaraunt. When there's a lot of them flying around, lots of smoke helps to get them to leave.
posted by blasdelf at 4:16 PM on June 24, 2005


The best thing to do is ask Imaginary Internet People what to do.
posted by ORthey at 6:34 PM on June 24, 2005


Just FYI, I never saw a cat who couldn't learn to stalk without causing the bell to ring in a short time.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:35 PM on June 24, 2005


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