Back in Vancouver, I found myself on the patio of a local restaurant in Gastown. While enjoying sometime catching up with friends (and watching the goings on at the budget hotel/drug house beside the restaurant), a crow fell from the sky and almost hit the person beside me. Shock, horror, screams.
The dazed crow sits, confused, with wings bent in all directions and tries to hobble on the bench beside me - it’s blue eyes searching for familiarity. Panic ensues on the patio - what do we do? Is this a sign? It’s blue eyes are freaking me out!!!!
Having some experience in this area (story for another time), I ask the bartender to grab a box and to call the SPCA emergency line. Freaking out he quickly finds a box, I place it over the bird and we all call the emergency line. Time for more drinks; we’re going to be here for a while - although some people have left, “This is too weird, I’m outta here.”
Seeing that it’s Sunday afternoon, there was no reply to the SPCA voicemail nor the Wildlife Rescue. Crow takers anyone? No?
I head home with a crow in a box and Jess trying to calm the crow by rubbing the side of the box, saying “Shhhhhhhhhhh”. In other parts of the city this might have been an odd sighting, but in Gastown we fit in just fine. Oh, and we’ve named the crow Frankie.
We get Frankie settled in - in the box, in my tub, with a cup of water. I turn off the lights, shut the door and call my brother to pick me up in the morning - “We’ve got a mission to the Wildlife Centre”. He’s pumped. And he’s bringing his friend, Calen, who really likes crows. It is from him I learn that the blue eyes are because Frankie is a baby (not that you could tell by his size).
Waking up, in the red-wine haze of the night before, I find a crow in my bathroom. Replaying yesterday’s events in my head, I realize that we may not have given Frankie enough time to recover from the fall and he might, uh oh, be just fine - or dead. Great.
I pick the box up. Cue juggling a flapping bird in a box. OK, so we’re off to the centre. On the way, the once silent Frankie has decided to partake in the mornings conversation and attempt to break out of the box. Yep, definitely alive.
At the centre, I fill out the forms and answer the vet’s questions while Frankie gets a neurological exam and is “flight tested”. When mentioning that I rescued him from Abbott and Cordova the vet immediately stops what she’s doing. Apparently the centre has received about 50 calls over the past week about this inept crow. “Hey Julie! It’s the Abbott and Cordova crow.”
After receiving a lecture on when/when not to rescue a bird and how to tell if a bird is actually injured, we leave with Frankie in the box. He’s fine. In fact, he’s more than fine and we are taking him back to Abbott and Cordova.
We find a nice alley way for ‘the release’. I undo the tape on the box, Calen reaches in, grabs Frankie, and places him in the palm of his hand. Expecting him to freakout (or to be attacked by his parents) I duck for cover among the dumpsters. Nope. Frankie is a people person. Cue photo shot of Calen and Frankie (see above).
Calen places Frankie on the top of a dumpster so his parents can find him (disclaimer: this is all on the advice of the vet). Frankie didn’t like this. He flaps his wings, leaps in the air, frantically flies across the alley and slams into the brick wall on the opposite side. Frankie falls (gunned down helicopter style) to the ground behind a dumpster. Our fan club of alley walkers and dumpster divers lets out a huge sigh of disappointment.
The three of us look up making sure his parents caught this and left.