…with a young greenfinch. Just went out in to the courtyard for some fresh air, leaving the door open behind me. Unfortunately startled a greenfinch in to flight – straight through the open door. Equally unfortunately all the windows were closed, as the poor bird found out the hard way. Not wanting him to be injured or stressed while I spent time searching for a key, I gently dropped a small cloth over him so that he’d stop flying against the windows. I was then able to pick him up and release him. Very rarely get greenfinches on the feeders, and I don’t expect this experience will encourage them further!
Glad of my previous experience of bird ringing, even though it was long ago. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation when you need to pick a bird up, this is the least stressful way for all concerned. Cover it with a lightweight cloth to stop it from flapping and keep it in one place. Place your hand over the bird’s back so that the tail points towards your wrist, and the neck is held gently between your index and middle fingers. In this position your hand will be covering the wings to stop them fluttering, and the bird can be picked up calmly and released.