Presque Isle Rescue
It’s important to keep life in perspective. Remember, things happen for a reason.
On a recent trip to Presque Isle, we planned on renting bicycles and riding around the peninsula. To our disappointment, the two bike rentals there were closed.
Our plans didn’t work out .No bike riding on a calm, sunny Monday that was picture perfect for bike riding. We decided to hike a few nature trails, hoping to see some unusual birds and wildlife.
Starting on Trail A, we came upon two deer running in the woods. Then, on Sidewalk Trail, we spotted a woodpecker pecking away. Just past that tree, we found a small bird sitting on a low branch. This bird was beautiful! It had a yellow underside and a band of yellow across the end of the tail feathers. There was an orange stripe on the wing and black “mask” across the eyes.
We became very curious that although we were so close, the bird didn’t fly away.
My wife, Pat, looked from a different angle and discovered that the bird’s wing had become entangled and was stuck to the branch. It tried to fly but could not. We just couldn’t leave the bird like that -- subject to pain, starvation and a helpless prey of another animal.
We called the Tom Ridge Environmental Center located at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park and spoke with a receptionist, who stated they did not have a rescuer available but she would see what she could do. Moments later, a Park Ranger called back. She advised us to break off the branch that the bird was stuck on and bring it to her. The bird was only about three feet off the ground, so it was easy to reach. The Ranger said she would try to get in touch with a rehabilitator.
I broke the branch off the tree and we walked back to the car, carrying a 2 1/2 ft. long branch with a live bird stuck on it. Pat got into the backseat with the branch and I drove the 10 minute trip to the environmental center. While in the car, the bird acted like a child or dog, just calmly enjoying the ride, looking straight ahead, not flapping or trembling. Pat gently reassured the bird the whole way there that it was going to the “hospital” and everything would be OK.
I parked in front of the nature center and soon returned to the car with Anne, the Ranger that I had spoken with. She took the branch and bird to a table where 3 other rangers were sitting. Before we knew it, the bird was disentangled from the branch and quickly flew away as if nothing had happened. We all clapped with pure joy. It made our day! We were part of an animal rescue. Anne informed us the bird was an adult male cedar wax wing, probably on its migration south.
What had been a disappointing time hours earlier when we couldn’t get bikes to ride, now took on a whole new meaning. We never would have had this experience if we were on bikes. This turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to Presque Isle. When life throws you a curve ball, make the most of it, because things do happen for a reason.