Sometimes you get to see stuff that you would never imagine possible, and today I turned up to the surgery clinic to find the entire staff waiting outside. Now it was a beautiful sunny day, however this did not explain the two falconry club members sitting with them with only a single bird but two gloves.
Asking what was going on, the doctor pointed at the tree where in a branch 20ft or so from the ground was a shape moving. Now I’d just set my contact lenses to my eyes so my vision wasn’t great as they had yet to settle however being a tree I assumed it was a cat that had escaped being a vet school and all. This led to great laughter when I was informed none too kindly that it was in fact a bird.
A bird stuck in a tree?
My first question was why it couldn’t just fly down as it obviously flew up there…
And then the fire brigade arrived with flashing blue lights and an aerial platform. My day was made totally and completely. The fire service – “Hasici” in Slovak – had arrived to save a bird from a tree. I really couldn’t make it up if I tried.
So with some quick manoeuvring of the platform to the ground to allow one of the students on (tied into a harness) they raised the platform to the tree to save the bird and in a blink it was all over with the bird safely on the ground the fire brigade left.
Apparently there are special jesses (strings for the legs of falcons) that should be used when flying them that had been neglected. Because of this the normal jesses had got tangled into the branch of the tree and so the bird needed to be rescued. So as I learnt something about falconry I guess this counts as part of my veterinary education.
The Slovak fire service were awesome with how fast they responded, how happy they were to help and how much more interesting they made my day.
Moral of the story though, is that flight jesses exist for a reason.