Peep,and also,wha?

Earlier today,Miss Cheepie Von Cheepersons was discovered outside the door of the office I’m working out of,in downtown Mount Vernon.


GOD I can’t even take a decent bird picture when it’s SITTING RIGHT THERE IN A CARDBOARD BOX. I give up.

At any rate,after recovering for a few hours,she began cheeping. We took this as a sign that she was calling someone,which meant there was some expectation of rescue,so the theory was that she had fledged early from a nearby nest.

(Did you know that goldfinches brood and fledge late in the year? I mean,it’s practically SEPTEMBER. I did not know this. Naturally,because this is a law office,we had a long-winded debate about whether or not it could be a baby bird,before someone finally gave up and looked it up online. It’s true! Goldfinches have babies in August.)

(I was quite pleased with Cheepie,because she behaved the way I believe a wild creature should,which is to say,like a Disney animal. She blinked a lot,and totally let you hold her in your hands without protest.)

(That’s your cue to point out all the horrible diseases which cute baby birds can harbor.)

After relocating her box outside,a cheeping call-and-respond session helped identify the nest’s location. (It was in the eaves of the building next to ours.) Someone climbed up a ladder and chucked the little cheeper nest-ward,and she fluttered right in. A great deal of cheeping ensued,which was probably along the lines of “You will NOT guess where I have been!!! Also,feed me the seeds of grasses,weeds,and other small plants!!!”

I love a happy ending.

You know you live in the woods when you go out to your car in the morning and find…

mystery pawprints

Well,I don’t know WHOSE pawprints those are,actually. Possum? Raccoon? Miniature sasquatch? The toes kind of creep me out.

8 comments to Peep,and also,wha?

  • Congrats on the rescue! That’s one lucky goldfinch. (Babies fledging this late? Good grief,that is surprising.)

    Then you got me curious with the tracks,so I went Googling. Did you find anything yourself? From what I found I’m thinking a partial raccoon track. Go check out the Gallery lower down on this page,especially the 4th pic,on the right,which shows that indentation on the palm:

    They’re not all there on your car,but the long toes and the C-shape of the palm sure sound like the blurb on this page. (Why do I suddenly feel like Sherlock Holmes?? [g] While simultaneously feeling as if I have the attention span of a gnat…)

  • Kelly

    Always a wildlife adventure with Erika™! hee hee. I’m impressed with your seeking-home expedition,and that the office got behind it. Totally not Chicago.

    Yeah,I was thinking raccoon once you said “fingers”–I swear,it’s between them and the cats,with dogs as their trusty servants,once humans give up the planet.

  • Wow! I’m glad you guys were able to put the little guy back. It’s kind of a weird partial print,but I’m guessing raccoon,too.

  • Erika

    Maybe I should quit leaving half-eaten sandwiches on the seat,with the windows rolled down overnight.

  • I knew goldfinches nested and hatched later than other birds but I didn’t know it was this late. The lateness is because they have evolved to reproduce when their particular food supply —seeds —is at its peak.

    Yeah,I’d advise against food on the car seat with the windows open. Do you ever listen to Car Talk on NPR? Some of their best calls have been about critters that have found their way into —but not necessarily out of —a vehicle.

  • What a cutie! Because I see the same photography problems all the time,I’ve posted a Flickr sort-of-tutorial with some tips on how to correct for this. Hope it helps (this will take you to the Flickr photo page):

  • Judy V

    I totally love it that you live in Mount Vernon in a cabin. I’m a long-time Snoqualmie knitter transplanted recently to Nashville. Love the family here,would far rather be in Seattle.

    Knit on

  • ballookey –THANK YOU! Great tut,now I know what the heck has been happening with some of my photos!::does a little happy-dance::(Still haven’t memorized the manual for my 2nd-hand Canon Powershot A40,which really,would help. Flipping pages every time you pick it up sort of interferes with taking actual pix,LOL. Must go read it another 5x…)