Blue tit is free as a bird after Limerick sunroom crash

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

The blue tit enjoying the view from the top of John Downes' head
A TINY blue tit which was on death’s door after crashing into a conservatory is free as a bird again – thanks to the TLC of a County Limerick pensioner.

A TINY blue tit which was on death’s door after crashing into a conservatory is free as a bird again – thanks to the TLC of a County Limerick pensioner.

The young bird slammed into the door after being deceived by the reflection of the glass.

“There was a thud. I was upstairs at the time but dad was in the kitchen. He decided to go out and investigate the situation,” explained Frank Downes whose 75-year-old father, John, is being commended for his bird saving skills.

“The little guy was on the ground but dad didn’t think he would live. He was really beaten up,” Frank added.

It appears the bird became dazzled by the reflection in the door of the family conservatory which is located at the back of Downes’ home between Kilfinane and Ardpatrick in the townsland of Ballyhegogue which translates as Town of the Geese.

“The conservatory is south-facing,” Frank explained.

“The sun was shining that day and the light caused a reflection of the background so he thought he was flying straight into the wild because he was seeing a reflection of what was behind him. Of course, what it was was a big pane of glass.”

John carefully picked up the little bird and cradled him in his hands.

“He held onto him for a while. He gave him some water. He just held him really, and then he started coming around - he became more alert as time went on,” said Frank.

“Eventually he decided to do a little dance around in dad’s hand as if to say: ‘You have saved me!’ “Then he kind of flew away, landed on the washing line and looked back at us as if to further say: ‘Job done – thank you!’”

This isn’t the first time that John Downes has used his Dr Dolittle talents to restore a bird to full health.

“He has brought back a few from the brink of death a few times,” said Frank.

A bush at the back of the family home has become somewhat of a meeting place for a number of birds, mainly sparrowhawks.

“They all congregate in one little bush. They are coming and going all the time. Sometimes there is possibly 100 of them.

“They congregate around this little pot that we have with nuts. Every now and then you will see them all dart out of the bush. From time to time you would hear a little thud at the conservatory.

“Sometimes you might see some feathers stuck to the window and a bird on the ground,” Frank continued.

As for the little blue tit who is yet to be named, he is still flying high and “coming and going” all the time says Frank.

“He is back up to speed again and doing fine - as long as he doesn’t crash into the window again,” Frank added.