Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Phil aka Russell

My son with Phil.  Buddies!
Phil literally swept into our lives one Friday afternoon in 2011.  My kids were playing outside and began yelling and screaming.  I investigated and found them dodging a blackbird.  The bird was swooping down on them and flew after them where ever they went.  I'd never seen a wild bird act like this before.  Intrigued, I watched and soon the bird flew onto the roof of my porch.  My son grabbed several slices of bread from our house and began throwing pieces of bread at him, which the bird heartily ate.

This went on for hours!  That night my friends came over with their kids and were amazed and freaked out by the birds behavior.   We all thought the bird was being aggressive.

The following day he greeted us when we left the house.  My father-in-law was the brave one and sat on the porch and within minutes the bird flew down and rested on his shoulder and arm.  We realized then that he wasn't aggressive - he was friendly!

The weekend resulted in the kids enjoying all the attention from the bird.  He rested on their heads and arms.  He was the newly adopted neighborhood pet.

But I had concerns.  He was too friendly for a wild animal.  I feared someone would hurt him, and what would happen when winter blew in?

Monday morning my kids boarded their buses and I watched both buses leave with Phil perched atop my head.  I felt ridiculous.  Phil had been at our house non-stop for four days.  By 9 am Monday morning I'd contacted a zoo who referred me to a local wildlife rescue center.  Surely he could be used for educational purposes, I reasoned.  He was intelligent & friendly.  We had no way to care for him properly.

The animal rescue center was very interested!  They had a crow in rehab and felt he'd be a good cage-mate to help the other bird recover and hopefully they could both be released back into the wild.

I lured Phil into a pet carrier with a little food.  That night, the kids and I drove an hour away and dropped Phil off at the wildlife rescue center.  I was given a case number and could call for updates.  Over the months I've called a few times and was told he was thriving in an outdoor enclosure with the other black bird.  They had plenty of space to fly around.

Yesterday I came across his case number and called for another update.  The nicest man informed me that he and the black bird had been released.  BUT - a week later they received calls of a black bird perching on people's heads.  That's our Phil!  They knew it was Phil and picked him up. 

Phil aka "Russell" as he's known at the wildlife center, will spend the rest of his life there surrounded by their caring and friendly staff.  They will use Russell for educational purposes. 

He's such a friendly bird - I'm happy knowing that no harm came to him and he's around people who appreciate his charming behavior.  That little black bird made a big impact on my family and I'll always remember him fondly.


1 comment:

  1. What an adorable story! I love that he has a forever home at the rescue center, so he can be safe. He obviously enjoys the company of people, so this is the best setup he could hope for!