MARINWOOD (CBS SF) — Marinwood firefighters came to the aid of a baby bird after it fell from a nest and into a drain pipe on Monday by attaching a garden hose to a vacuum cleaner.
Firefighter Brian Smith first saw two adult birds huddled around the pipe underneath the fire station when he heard chirping. Using a glow stick and GoPro camera, firefighters were able to locate a baby bird several feet down.
“We had to brainstorm how to get the bird out and minimize the injuries,” Smith said. That’s when his crew taped a garden hose to a vacuum, and on the fourth try, lifted the fledgling out on his back.
The bird was taken to WildCare in San Rafael where he was treated for a small scrape above his beak. WildCare spokeswoman Alison Hermance said the 2-week-old house finch is healing and can now stand and hop around.
The chick will remain at WildCare for about 5-6 weeks where he’ll be hand fed about every 45 minutes with other finches his age until he can be released in the wild, Hermance said.
The rescue operation was one firefighters won’t soon forget.
“It wasn’t our most technical rescue – but it was certainly one of our more memorable ones,” Marinwood firefighter Brian Smith said.