On a quiet Tuesday afternoon, mum and I were sat in our living room and heard a loud chirping noise. At first I thought: How lovely the birds sound today, summer has come at last. But this bird did not move or change it’s tone. It’s then that we heard rustling coming from inside the wall, and the chirping stopped if we gently tapped on the wall.
The bird’s plaintive cries for help were incessant and lasted for several hours that evening while we wondered what to do. Drill a hole into the wall? Strip bricks off from the outside? Take the whole window sill up? But it was cemented into the wall. How had the bird even got there in the first place? Maybe we could take it out the same way it fell in? But the chances were it had fallen into the wall cavity from a hole in the roof.
Unable to leave it to die it’s inevitable lonely death, my dad drilled a section out of the window sill, only with all that noise we felt sure the poor little bird would have died of heart failure by now. We looked down into our wall cavity but saw no sign of the prisoner of our wall. Admitting defeat, we left the window open above the hole that evening, hoping the draft would draw the bird out from wherever it had gone to escape the drill.
It was only when I went the bed that night, that I heard similar rustling sounds coming from my bedroom wall, which happens to be part of the same wall downstairs. So the bird had somehow climbed up the inside of the wall, and we believe it to have rested in my wall overnight.
In the morning, parents out at work, I ventured downstairs to find the bird has still not escaped, the removed block of wood still lay to one side. But by the frenzied sniffing of my dog at the hole, the bird was still very much alive and could still be rescued. Eating breakfast by the hole, keeping watch, I heard the rustling and clunking above my head, in the wall above the window. It needed something to lure it down.
I then remembered a little tool my sister-in-law had given me one Christmas. A contraption made of a wooden bead and a nail with resin on the inside, that when twisted back and forth, imitated a bird’s call. I went and found this out and squeaked it by the hole for a little while and heard the bird come down the right hand side of the wall, but stopped about halfway down. With work and revision to do, I left it to it, keeping an eye on the hole.
About half and hour later, I heard the same loud cheeping as before from below the hole. I carefully looked down the hole with a torch and saw two beady eyes looking up at me. It was bigger than we’d all expected and I wasn’t certain it would fit through the hole made, but I sat back, locked the dog in the next room and waited for it to emerge.
Sure enough, a little brown head soon poked up, followed by the scrawny, ruffled body of a large starling. It stood wavering on the ledge for a little while, but I was conscious it might fly the wrong way into the house, so I herded it out of the open window. It hopped onto the bush outside the window, then fell through the branches very ungracefully to the gravel below. I quickly went to the door to go and make sure it was okay, and, still chirping loudly, the bird stayed on the ground for about 3 minutes, seeming to get his bearings, then flew into a nearby bush, joined by another. A happy ending for this small, and very loud, creature, trapped in our wall for a day or two. I’ve laid out a dish of water and some bird seed to aid his recovery, but all I’ve heard since is the strong chirping from the bush.