Sunday, March 18, 2012

A bluebird in the wood stove

Most of us probably don’t find bluebirds inside their wood stoves with any frequency.   Saturday morning I heard a scratching noise from the stove’s fluepipe.  Suspecting that the bluebird was back and, like last spring looking for a place to nest in the fluecap, I hauled myself out of bed, got the extension ladder and went up on the roof.  I tapped around on the flue pipe a bit.  Satisfied that the bird was not inside I put a plastic cover on the top of the flue.

Back inside the house I made coffee and breakfast, then turned on the TV for a fix of March Madness and news about the Hoosier’s glorious first-round victory.  That’s when I heard a commotion from the wood stove.  Sure enough there was a bluebird inside the stove.  It had remained inside the flue and finding no way out came down into the stove.  Last spring a bluebird had done the same thing.  I was planning to cover the flue top soon since the weather forecasts weren’t showing any more days that might require wood heat.  Not soon enough I guess.
Now the last thing anybody wants is a wild bird inside the house.  Not only because of the damage a bird can do to the house and itself, but also because the bluebird is such an iconic American bird that it’s even more important to free the bird without injury.  It was time to do a bluebird extraction, a method I developed last spring.  I covered the stove with a large piece of Agribon row cover.  The plan was to open the front doors of the stove inside the Agribon, wait until the bird flew out and trap it in the folds of the row cover, then carry it outside and release it.
It was a nerve-wracking operation.  The bird finally came out of the doors and I managed to seal it into a pocket of the row cover.  I just got out the door when the bluebird worked out of its trap and flew off – a close call.  I think it’s time to build or buy a proper bluebird house.     


Unknown said...

Oh my! What a morning you had! Good advice in case this ever happens although I would have difficulty keeping the bird away from my two kitties.

Dave said...

I had a hawk get in my flue once, and wound up in the woodburning furnace in the basement. Fortunately it was a walk out basement!

Our bluebirds love the Gilbertson PVC boxes, but they also like my homemade wooden ones too.

kitsapFG said...

So is it a good luck omen to have a bluebird in your woodstove?! :D

Thank you for using such care in getting that creature safely back into the wilds. I hope the good karma comes back into your life many times over.

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