Yesterday was a beautiful snowy day here in Amsterdam and since this is such a rare occasion, I decided to take my camera and walk home from my morning appointment through the lovely Beatrixpark rather than take the bus as usual. You could call the park my local patch, although I don’t get there as often as I’d like. I went to my favorite spot – a small grove of coniferous trees – to see if I could spot some of the species that frequent that little corner of the park (especially the little red squirrels). My next stop was the little fenced pond where waterbirds often stop to get a free handout from the locals. The pond was teeming with birds – mallards, black-headed gulls, moorhens, an Egyptian goose, a big mute swan, even a Grey heron – but the most dominant birds on the pond were the gaggle of domesticated geese making their presence known. It was the perfect photo opportunity. The birds were so close that I was able to get some wonderful photos without even having to really zoom with my sad little digital non-SLR camera, so I was happily snapping away when I suddenly became aware of a bit of a commotion behind and to the right of me. I heard a man say to his little daughter “they’re coming to rescue the pigeon” and when I turned around, I saw a group of firemen/women and someone from the animal ambulance service. Looking up, this is what I saw:

The poor little pidgie hanging from fishing wire.

I’m not sure how long he’d been stuck up there, but luckily a good Samaritan saw him and had called it in an hour earlier. What came next did my heart good!! I was able to get some pictures of the rescue (with the rescuers’ permission) and here they are.

Firemen putting the ladder in place

One of the fireman starts up the ladder.

Almost there...

Our hero cutting the pigeon loose.

Bird in hand, our hero gets ready to climb down.

The descent...

Back on the ground.

The fireman hands the bird over to the animal paramedic to be checked out.

The paramedic holds the bird while the firewoman tries to free its legs from the wire.

Still trying to remove the wire from the pigeon's legs. After a few futile minutes trying, the bird was taken by the ambulance personnel to a vet who hopefully was able to free it from the painful line.

I have no idea what eventually came of the pigeon. I hope that someone was eventually able to get the offending wire off of the bird’s legs without too much damage. I hope he survived his ordeal and will be back in the park soon. But seeing all these folks jump into action to rescue one little pigeon in distress absolutely made my week! Happy Holidays, everyone!!

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