My morning walk was interrupted the other day when I got the text from my wife, “OMG, there’s a bird in the basement.” There are two sets of French doors going from our basement onto a patio. She was preparing to paint the trim in the basement and while taping around one of the doors, a bird flew in. She didn’t even know it until she heard it flying against the glass of the other door. I was still about ten minutes from home.
When I got home, she was in a panic. The bird was hidden somewhere. My first action was to cover the doorway leading to the upstairs of the house with a sheet, so if the bird took off, it wouldn’t go into the rest of the house. Then, I searched every room in the upstairs to be sure that hadn’t already happened. Finding nothing, I returned to the cellar, where the elusive bird still had not made its presence known.
There is no ceiling in our basement and there’s a gap between one of the stud walls and the block wall. We feared the bird may have gotten into that space and couldn’t get out. We weren’t anxious to have a rotting bird inside the wall perfuming the house. I went to the garage and got a step ladder tall enough, then spent the next few minutes climbing the ladder and sticking my head between floor joists to shine a flashlight into the gap between the walls seeking the bird. Not there.
We went throughout the cellar banging on joists, knocking on ductwork, and shining light into every nook and cranny in the hopes of rousing the thing but nothing showed. Then, while my wife made another round through the rest of the house, I shut off all the lights in the basement and stood quietly. I thought with all the ruckus, maybe the bird was scared and not moving. Perhaps if it was quiet, it would show and fly to a window.
My wife returned to the basement having found nothing upstairs. We stood quietly for a few more minutes waiting. Still nothing. She told me at one point before I got home, she had opened both doors on the side of the basement the bird was last seen, then stepped back to give it a chance to fly out. After a couple of minutes, she feared another would fly in, so shut one of the doors. She didn’t see any movement.
After banging around the place for a while longer and still finding nothing, we assumed that when she opened the doors and then stepped away, the bird had flown out and she just didn’t see it. They can be fast. We ended the search. She went back to taping and I went off to do my thing.
A few days have passed. Still no bird, but no aroma of decaying bird flesh, either. The sheet remains hanging in the doorway, just in case.