Responding to unusual calls for assistance is nothing new for the District 3 Incident Response team… stranded motorists, flat tires, empty fuel tanks, fender-benders.
But a call Monday took "unusual" to new heights.
“As I sat at my desk working at the computer I noticed out the window of the District Construction Manager's office an odd sight,” explained Althea Fackrell, District 3 maintenance office clerk.. “A bird landed on the spare tire docked on front of his Suburban outside in the yard.
“About the same time, the district records inspector, who was in the office, stood up and went to the window. I went in to the office to see why the small bird was so interested in the Suburban.”
Fackrell ran back to get a camera because what the ITD staff discovered, perched on a vehicle in the district parking lot, was a bird of prey. The male Kestrel, or Sparrow Hawk, had moved and seem to be sunbathing on the emergency lights.
“So I went out to get a closer camera shot. He jumped up to fly away but was able only to hop onto the heating duct before he fell to the ground.”
The district records inspector and construction manager also emerged from their offices.
“We decided to call the Birds of Prey Center. They informed us that the bird was a Kestrel and told us how to safely capture it.”
Time to call the Incident Response since they are the experts at rescues.
After a short ground chase, Nick Jones and Terry Meiners captured the elusive bird – which was fondly dubbed Merlin – and put it into a box for safety until the Birds of Prey team arrived.
Birds of Prey officials determined the Kestrel was a young bird, probably separated from its mother. Apparently it suffered no injuries. Merlin will be hand-fed and nurtured until it is old enough to be released into the wild and survive on its own.