This is the man who “didn’t do pets” when I met him and is now morphing into the Creature Whisperer.
The Bride and I found this almost adult Hirondelle on the street outside. Presumably he had ventured/been shoved out of the nest and had failed to launch satisfactorily.
I put him on a ground floor window sill over the street to give him a little chance against all the local cats, escorted The Bride to her car , then went back and checked him out. His eyes were closed and he simply looked stunned, though I could see no visible injuries. I just couldn’t leave him to the cats (The Groom said it was just The Circle Of Life but I felt I had to do something to delay the inevitability of death or consumption by cat) so I picked him up , all limp and pathetic, and took him into the house. I was working and didn’t have time to nurture baby birds so I put him in the courtyard for Trev to see if he was going to come round.
Trev fetched him a towel to languish on (not an OLD towel, by the way, but ONE OF MY EXPENSIVE ONES!) it’s trashed now as Geronimo (no idea why the name of a long dead Native American came into my head) got very destructive as he started to improve.
Picture this, I am trying to work on Serious Matters, and all I can hear through the window is Trev chatting away to this bird whilst sanding and painting a table.
After a while I gave up and went to see how the newly bonded buddies were going. By now Geronimo had improved sufficiently to flap off the towel and down onto the courytard floor where he climbed up onto Trev’s foot and stayed there as he walked around;moving JUST when I fetched the camera. Fickle little git.
As we have finished work, we take him up to the terrace where we can keep an eye, and hopefully relaunch him successfully. I try to pick him up and he stabs at me with his beak and hops about. Trev picks him up NO PROBLEM and moves him to luxury cardboard box penthouse upstairs.
By now he is much improved and mobile, but still only able to get a few inches off the ground when he flies. He squawks incessantly, opening his mouth as wide as he can and presumably expecting us to feed him. He rejects all offerings, even the bug that Trev caught for him (yes, you read that right)
After a while he climbs up onto the back of the bench using beak and claws and sits there bellowing at every bird that flies overhead.
One eventually comes bravely right down onto the terrace to check him out (mum?) We leave them to it as bonding with Trev is really not the way forward. He practices proper flying. Half an hour later he has gone. I hope not into the maw of the cat who moved in across the street last week; though we have never actually had a cat on the terrace and it is quite sheltered from prying eyes.
His name is Gary…apparently
And I have just Googled him and he is, in fact, a European Mantis.