A Bird In Hand

Greetings. I hadn’t planned to be away for this long, but I needed the time off. As some of you know, outside of my day job, I am a wildlife capture & transport volunteer for The Aark Wildlife Rehab Center. I regularly receive calls to pick up injured, sick, or orphaned animals, usually located as far as possible from wherever I happen to be at the time. It’s often challenging and very rewarding to help animals in need.

In early January, I was notified of a lone goose hanging out near a shopping center. Unable to fly, the bird was easily captured—this isn’t typically the case for waterfowl, which tend to be slippery buggers. In the same town, I had been monitoring another grounded goose who eluded me twice before, taking refuge on a park pond. Thinking I might get lucky, I stopped by the park to check on him and have another go.

I found the goose sitting at the center of the pond, which had completely frozen since my last visit. As I cautiously walked onto the ice, the goose immediately reacted and started walking away. Upon hastening my approach, the bird took off—able to fly for a few feet before skidding back onto the ice. My literal wild goose chase went on for a while, until at one point the bird approached the edge of the pond, which is lined by bush and tree branches. With no chance for the fowl to fly off, I moved quickly to net him, but slipped and landed hard on my hand. The extreme cold must have managed my pain as I continued the pursuit, and ultimately cornered my fine-feathered friend against a fence.

After dropping both birds off at The Aark, I made my way to the emergency room of a local hospital. Thankfully, x-rays revealed my left wrist to be only sprained and not fractured. Unfortunately, that hand wasn’t going to be of much use for several weeks. Despite the sprain, I continued receiving calls about wounded wildlife, and felt obliged to toughen up and keep at it, especially given the brutal winter weather conditions that we’ve been experiencing lately. Last month, I rescued four Canada Geese, three Black Vultures, two Red Tailed Hawks, and a Screech Owl in a snow storm.

Although not yet 100% recovered, my wrist is much better—certainly well enough to type again. Injury aside, I needed to unplug for a while anyway. Not sure how frequently I’ll be blogging going forward, but between here and The Bank you’ll see new posts soon enough.


Posted on February 4, 2014, in ANIMALS, SHELF. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I always told Dj shelf have great soul. In my country, it was not such a harsh winter as in America, far more lenient.
    You did the right thing shelf and I will always support the charities.May God bless you for it.I wish that there were a lot of people like you the world would be completely different and beautiful.
    I wish you good luck and success in what you do and you do unselfishly,


  3. More people should be like this man :)

  4. good to have you back

  5. Congrats on capturing the elusive goose and job well done, we need more animal lovers like you!

  6. Way to go Shelf. You are an inspiration. Don’t ever leave us (completely!)

  7. Hello and welcome back! Missed you…
    A great blog from a benevolent gent, here’s to a great 2014 for all, with 2 legs, 4 or wings! Cheers sir.

  8. wow, what a story! i had no idea you had this side career, you are doing wonderful work. welcome back, feel better.

  9. we missed you !
    What a great side job you have. Thank You and God bless you for your hard work

  10. A big pat on your back for such selfless work you do, Chris.
    The birdies salute you!
    Glad to hear the wrist is recovering and you can put your hand to good use again.

  11. you are so brave. so generous. so full of awesome. thanks for sharing that story and i hope your wrist is healing well. i was once bitten by a goose in my backside while photographing a field of them in front. i was too focused on what’s in my viewfinder i didn’t know what was behind me. my friend who was watching from afar laughed so hard and i had a bruise for weeks. anyhow, i really appreciate the music you share here. thank you!

  12. Tom in Portsmouth, NH

    I don’t know you, Shelf…but I love you. I’m glad there are people like you in the world. :-)

  13. This is a great story. Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do. I don’t feel much connection to people on the internet (as I think most of it is “fake connections”) but the Blog and the Music that is shared here makes me feel differently.
    Thank you again.

  14. amazing. keep up the great work.

  15. Thank you everyone for your kind comments and support. And it’s nice to be missed :-)

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