Today at work a couple of my coworkers were doing a security walk and they saw something odd.
Somehow, a bird had gotten into the giant window frame that looks out over the runway, and he was stuck trying to get INTO the airport. He must've come down about 30 feet in the window frame. The only thing we can think of is that he somehow got into the frame on the roof and made his way down.
He was able to get his head out of the frame, but he was stuck there and couldn't get any farther. He was being blocked by a radiator cover. So I slid the cover out of the way, hoping that he would be able to get out then, but he still couldn't quite get out. I think he would have fit, but he didn't have anything to put his feet on to push himself out.
So we put the cover back in place and figured we'd come check on him later. Well, after we were done with all the work there was to do, we came back to check and he seemed like he wasn't in very good shape. He wasn't moving around a lot, he had managed to get his foot stuck in the crack too, and he looked really tired.
At this point in time, I figured out a way to pry some of the metal away from the wall that might let him get out...but I wasn't sure if I should do it...because it could have caused a little bit of damage to the wall behind the cover. So I went and asked one of the Airport Operations guys, and he came and checked it out. He said "If you can get him out, then let's get him out...we don't want him to die in there, not only because we don't want him to die...but because the smell will probably be pretty bad." So I went to work on the wall. I got it to the point where he was able to get about half of his body out, but he couldn't get any farther than that.
We then left him alone, because the Operations guy said that one of the maintenance guys was going to be in soon, and that he would know how to get the wall apart a bit more. So we waited, and made sure that he didn't get his head stuck in the hole that we had made.
As we were waiting, another Airport Operations guy showed up to see what was going on. I showed him where the bird was, and he said "We can get him out. Let's pull this nail out and then we can get this panel off." So John, that was the guy that had showed up, went to get a hammer. He came back a couple of minutes later with a big set of pliers, because he couldn't find a hammer. He then pulled the nail out of the support for the radiator cover, but the support still wouldn't come off. John then pulled on the support a bit and we realized that it was anchored into the wall. He used the pliers to get the anchor out of there, then I removed the support for the cover. As I did that, John bent one last piece of metal...and...VOILA!!!!! We had a bird!!!
He was being really calm in John's hand...he let us pet him on his head and didn't seem scared at all. I think that he knew we were trying to help him, and I think he wasn't scared of us at all. He just looked like he was thankful...if that makes any sense.
We were still a bit worried about him, though, because we weren't sure if he had struggled too much. So John took him out one of the boarding gate doors and set him down on a luggage tug. We expected him just to sit there, but to our surprise he took off immediately and flew as far away from the airport as it seemed like he could!!!
I'm sure he'll probably stay away from the airport from now on...he probably learned the hard way that trees are where he's supposed to be.
Here is the bird in John's hand...the picture isn't very good because I took it with my phone.
We're pretty sure that he was a starling. At least, that's what he looked like to us. He was actually a very nice looking bird...his feathers were a black and dark green that was really pretty. Here is a good picture showing what he actually looked like.
While he was in there, he kept grabbing my finger with his beak. I don't think he was trying to bite, though, I think he was trying to use his beak to grab something to try and pull himself out with. It didn't seem like he was attacking me, but more just trying to get a hold of me.
After we let him go, John and I set about putting the wall back together. We ended up getting the metal supports all back into place pretty well, and then got the cover back onto the wall with no issue. Once the cover was on, you really couldn't even tell that we'd had to do anything!!! The officers at the airport are going to mention to maintenance that there must be some way the bird got in, so hopefully maintenance can find the hole and patch it up so that nothing else gets in there!!!