Once when the Mr and I were in the garden at our old house, we heard blue jays raise the alarm. When one jay starts yelling “Steve! Steve!”, every other jay around will show up yelling “Steve!” also. Sometimes what is interesting to all the jays named Steve is interesting to us too, like the time they found a 4’ Texas rat snake along the drainage channel. (Not too dangerous we found out, but very impressive.) This time the yelling was coming from just behind the garage. We went to the corner and looked around.
In the middle of six or so jays was one jay thrashing on the chainlink fence. He’s being mobbed by the others, I thought. Gorgeous blue, turquoise and white feathers were flashing around in a frenzy. Then I saw that its leg was trapped by the fence.
The other birds vanished silently when I went up to the unfortunate one. I thought it would snap his leg in the panic before I grabbed it and closed its wings in my hands. How did it get its leg caught in that little loop? “Go get the bolt cutters, quick!” I told my husband. The moment before he returned with them, I got the loop open by hand and freed the bird. “Go get the kid, quick!” He is not a man who takes orders but he went.
As I held the jay in my hands, the bird seemed at ease. It even sang a little. It sang a soft chortling song, fluid and lovely.
The kid and husband arrived. I knelt to show my son, who was about three then. I opened my hands and the bird flew up like a magic trick.
Photo from birdpictures.org