Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Be Kind to Your Fine Feathered Friends

 I have had this jelly jar feeder for some time and always enjoyed it…until this weekend.

As I approached the feeding station I saw a bird inside the feeder.  Thinking it was exceptionally tame I approached closer.  Nope.  Not tame, just stuck.  It had slid forward into the jelly jar and was unable to get out, thus becoming a purple finch.  It may have been a small oriole, but it was too slathered in grape jelly to be sure.

I tried shaking him out, but to no avail.  I had to grasp his tail feathers and pull to extract him.  You could say he was really in a jam. Then I ran into the RV and got a bowl of water and a towel.  He was trying to evade my capture my hopping away since his wings were basically glued to his body, but I tossed the damp towel over him to catch him.

Although he had every right to peck at me, he seemed to know I was trying to help, or he was just too exhausted from his ordeal to attempt any defensive action.  Holding him in one hand I bathed him with the other in the bowl of water, taking care to stretch open his wings and wash good under the armpits. 

After I did the other wing I worked more on his back and around his eyes.  Then I poured the rest of the water over him in a shower and toweled him off a bit.  This was when my daughter asked me if I had ever bathed a bird before, as she thought it looked like I knew what I was doing.  Nope, this was a first for me.

I carried him to a small tree and placed him up as high as I could in the hopes he’d sit there until he dried off a bit more.  He had other plans and fluttered down to the ground, but at least those wings seemed to be  functioning now and it probably helped to dry him off more.

Then he hopped away, cleaning and preening his back and feathers and I have every hope he’ll make a full recovery.

So, my bird feeders now have an open container only policy to prevent any such mishap again.  I don’t know how long he’d been stuck in there and I hope it wasn’t terribly long.

Lesson learned….I wanted to pass this on as several people commented about how cute it was and they wanted to find one.  All I can say to that is DON’T!

Long Live the Queen of Feathered Friends.


  1. i had just read this morning, while looking up baltimore orioles, that it was fine to feed jelly as long as not to put out so much that they get it stuck in their feathers. so glad you were able to rescue this one!

  2. Poor little guy....he was lucky to have you bath him so tenderly. Careful, he may come back for another bath and massage :-)

  3. I'm glad you wrote this post, now I'll know how to do this the right way. I'm so glad you were able to save the little bird. You're a really nice person. You have a wonderful evening. Hugs, Edna B.

  4. You just never know what is going to happen next,......so don't bother bracing for it, stay calm and use your wits, when it hits, as you did with this jelly jam. :-)

  5. Excellent post. I am happy that you found the bird and helped him. You also did all birds a great service by warning people about that style of feeder, as well as how you bathed him. I love this. You are a hero! Hugs.