On a recent mini-roadtrip to Cortez Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, we did what we almost always do when we go away -- watched beautiful birds and observed their behavior.
This handsome Great Blue Heron patiently waited for prey to swim by.
More birds looking for their next meal. The Little Blue Heron walked along the shore hunting; Ibis (in breeding colors) searched for and caught small fish; and the always opportunistic gulls were probably hoping for a handout from the photographer.
Shortly after we returned from that trip, my sister sent an e-mail linking to a review of this book. I've always thought birds are smarter than usually credited and was happy to find the book at our Library. I'd just started reading it when we went away on another short road-trip.
On our way home, we found a bird that definitely didn't qualify as a subject for the book. We were driving our RoadTrek camper van just outside Sarasota when a car in the next lane beeped and made the universal gesture that something was wrong with our car. Slightly panicked, I rolled down the window and the fellow shouted "You have a bird living in your air-conditioner ... I think it may be trapped."
We pulled in at the very next driveway and there the poor mockingbird was -- trapped for sure in our roof A/C unit and growing more and more frantic. She'd apparently flown in through the wider opening at the bottom, but couldn't see it once she was inside. We had camped in the van the night before and run the A/C, so we knew the bird hadn't been there very long. She must have flown in while we were making a short pit-stop just a few minutes earlier. (In fact we were still sipping our iced coffees.)
Luckily, the driveway happened to be to a parking lot for an AutoZone. And this auto parts/repair store had the right tools to loosen the heavy bolts holding the unit. This employee started the work -- he was tall enough not to need a ladder. But even with the A/C unit lifted partly up, the frantic bird was still afraid to fly out. After about 20 minutes, the store manager came out wearing gloves and was finally able to reach in and catch the bird. Which quickly flew back the way we'd come. Definitely not a good example of the genius of birds, but I hope she was at least smart enough to have learned a lesson.
The manager tightened the bolts again, just laughed about the whole thing, and didn't charge us at all for the time. Bill said that AutoZone had always been his first choice when he needed car parts and service -- and it certainly is now.
The picture below is a different mockingbird (maybe smarter, maybe luckier, definitely happier.)
Linking to the following sharing opportunities: OUR WORLD on Tuesday; NATURE NOTES; MOSAIC MONDAY; ALL SEASONS; WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY; WEDNESDAY WATERS; SATURDAY CRITTERS; and RATHER B' BIRDING. Thank you to all of the hosts.