Robin Rescue

So today when I looked out at the strawberry patch from the (newly renovated and now-comfortable) screened-in porch, I saw the netting moving. I figured a chipmunk had gotten under the netting to grab a strawberry and went out for a closer look (and, truth be told, to throw something at it). What I saw, though, was a very frightened robin caught in the netting, trying to disentangle its wing and leg.

Aw, crap.

I don't have any photos of this, because we moved pretty quickly into rescue mode. I think it was a female robin, though, because it looked like this:

Except wide-eyed and terrified. And flopping around on the ground under the netting.

Full disclosure: It crossed my mind, briefly, that since it was under the netting next to a strawberry that was picked off the plant, that perhaps this bird deserved what it got here. But it was mostly sad, so we helped it anyway.

I got a scissors and Kirk put on some gardening gloves to protect his hands. The bird was trying to bite him, but he held it still while I used the scissors to carefully snip away the netting from around its wings and feet. This took a bit of time, with a few breaks to let go of the bird for and turn it over, etc.

When we got the last bits cut off, Kirk unwrapped the last piece of the netting and gave the robin a little toss into the air. She took off quick and strong, so she doesn't seem too worse for wear (except maybe a scrape along one wing from trying to get out of the netting). She flew far away to a tree two yards over, so we probably won't see her again.

Time for a better strawberry patch solution, since that netting wasn't working to keep our strawberries safe anyway. We've already lost several, and always just hours before we were about to pick perfectly ripe ones for eating.

This is more 1-inch chicken wire, which has worked well on our cabbage patch and Brussels sprouts so far. We have netting stretched across the top to protect the strawberries from birds, but this time we tied several strips of shiny aluminum foil to it to alert the birds that it is there, and hopefully scare them off. I think part of the problem for our robin was that the netting is black, and the birds can't really see it very well. Hell, I can barely see it. So hopefully this can protect our fruit without ensnaring any more not-so-innocent-but-still-worth-saving backyard birds.


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