A cell phone, a box, and wanting to save an animal are the first things you need for what, I hope, are a successful bird rescue.

The story goes like this:

I live about three blocks from downtown in the historic district. It is, as you would imagine, a very residential area that is adjacent to a business corridor. I was walking to a restaurant for lunch Monday, rounded the corner and came upon a bird. I wasn't sure what kind of bird it was at that point, but I was certain it wasn't the kind that belonged in the middle of the city.

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As I got closer, I assumed the foot-tall bird would fly away or, at the very least, run. He (or she) simply turned its head. I could tell he was frightened.

I have a soft spot for animals, especially those who are lost or injured. I couldn't just walk away and leave this poor creature on the shoulder of the roadway where he was sure to die, either from the heat or under someone's tire.

Thanks to Google, I quickly had the local office of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on the line. The agent I spoke with directed me to a local rescue and release group. Surprisingly, all their bird cages were full!

The kind woman I spoke to with the rescue group seemed quite knowledgeable about such birds. She said it may be a heron or an egret, and she had received a similar call within the last couple of days. While she couldn't take the bird, she did give me instructions on what to do so I could help my poor, newfound feathered friend.

A few things could have happened to this poor bird. Either it was injured (which I suspect because he had a limp) or he had gotten lost and forgotten how to fly.

She suggested that I put him in a box in a cool place until I could transfer him to an area near a body of water and trees. She explained it would climb into the trees to hopefully heal and regain its ability to fly.

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I spoke with a good friend who is a Wildlife and Fisheries agent, and he told me that was absolutely the right thing to do. I also texted him the pictures I had taken of the bird, and he confirmed rather quickly that it is a heron.

With the help of my daughter and grand daughter, we took our bird friend to the banks of the Mermentau River and released him. As you can see in the video, he is off to a slow start. We watched him for about ten minutes, but he appeared to be holding his own.

I sure hope the little guy heals and is flying the friendly Louisiana skies very soon.

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