I went outside to scatter peanuts for the chipmunks and squirrels in between lines of thunderstorms and noticed something off about the netting over the back half of the raised bed. We'd pulled it back and left it so the cantaloupe vines could climb it.
I went closer and found a Grey Catbird thoroughly tangled in it. The netting was tightly wound up to its beak and it was clinging with its feet as it tried to get away. If I hadn't;t gone outside at that moment and spotted it, I'm sure it would have killed itself trying to free its beak.
When I realized what it was, I spoke to it softly, telling it I was going to help it, that it'd be ok, and cupped its wings against its back as I examined how I was going to remove the netting. Realizing I needed scissors, I let it go and told it'd I'd be right back. It went back to clinging to the netting.
It's fun holding a wild bird, trying to very, very carefully snip thin strands of plastic netting and then it starts thundering directly overhead. Luckily, the Catbird laid quietly in my hand and allowed me to work. The poor thing had managed to really get itself stuck. How the netting had wound, it would never have been able to open its beak again without intervention.
Once I managed to remove the final strands, the bird flew out of my cupped hand and landed a few feet away. I watched it carefully to see if it'd be ok and it hopped through the fence and flew away.
The netting was immediately removed. The vines were hooked on the poles instead.
So. Lesson learned, when we use netting, it has to be snug, it cannot have any slack in it whatsoever, otherwise, next time the bird might not be so lucky.
And it's still thundering.
Had to rescue a Grey Catbird this afternoon.