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I will name him "Puffy"
August 12, 2014 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Petaluma couple rescue tiny ambulatory pom-pom; turns out to be rare shorebird.

Black rails are the smallest North American rails. They are mostly found along the eastern seaboard, but there is a small, resident population in the Bay Area. The birds are secretive and rarely seen, making it hard to determine their conservation status. With the disappearance of Bay Area marshes and wetlands, the black rail has also moved into inland areas that are semi-permanently flooded by irrigation water.
posted by oneirodynia (23 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh. I've known birders who would drop everything and drive two hours after hearing a report that a black rail had been spotted in location X. I'm trying to imagine what they'd do when hearing about this tiny ambulatory pom-pom rail. It's like the serious birders' equivalent of the white buffalo.

(But much, much cuter!!)
posted by mudpuppie at 5:57 PM on August 12 [2 favorites]


OK, that is basically from a Miyazaki cartoon.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:57 PM on August 12 [30 favorites]


I'm not sure how early a precocial bird like that leaves their parents, but it does look a little young to be not following mom around, if they are like most rails.
posted by tavella at 6:02 PM on August 12


I have been "squee-ing" over this all afternoon. Ridiculously cute.

These are also the same chicks you often see labeled as "baby raven/crow" all over the internet. Baby corvids are cute in their own way, but they're all beak and pinfeathers and not fluffy adorableness like this! (And MUCH larger)
posted by primalux at 6:05 PM on August 12


“For a bird so rarely seen, Black Rails have become increasingly common patients. Several adult Black Rails we’ve cared for this year have been rescued after being disturbed and attacked by pets.”

You wouldn't let a guinea pig or an iguana roam the neighbourhood unsupervised. Why do people let their cats do it?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:14 PM on August 12 [11 favorites]


SO TINY
posted by elizardbits at 6:28 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


I know the whole idea why baby animals are cute and all ...

But why is this so ridiculous? I love it. I remember these toy/decorative chicks that were basically made of two puff balls stuck together. The only different between those and this is that this is black.

I'm glad someone saved this little dude ("dude" is meant to be gender-neutral here). We need more people to do that.
posted by darksong at 6:47 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


My cat and I just had identical reactions to this post: we both stretched out our paws and attempted to pet the tiny little Pom Pom and made slightly anguished "look it's so cute" sounds.
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:47 PM on August 12 [9 favorites]


I love it. I remember these toy/decorative chicks that were basically made of two puff balls stuck together. The only different between those and this is that this is black.

Also alive.
posted by jeather at 6:51 PM on August 12 [2 favorites]


Rails are awesome.
posted by rtha at 7:01 PM on August 12


Baby corvids are cute in their own way, but they're all beak and pinfeathers and not fluffy adorableness like this!


I disagree- baby ravens are awesome! "The fuck are you looking at?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:15 PM on August 12 [9 favorites]


That raven looks like it belongs on Game of Thrones.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:08 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


Oh I totally love baby ravens. One of my fondest memories was watching a fledgling raven learn to do barrel rolls when I worked on Alcatraz - they're specifically one of my favorite species of bird. They just aren't this *kind* of cute.
posted by primalux at 9:33 PM on August 12


Nestling ravens are more like this. I love 'em but they are not little fluffballs. Even when they're fledglings you can always tell them from the parents because they're just so "beaky".

Note: I'm only referring to Common/Northern Ravens or Corvus corax. I have no experience with other species.
posted by primalux at 9:38 PM on August 12 [5 favorites]


I know my advances would be unwelcome to sassy, always-running pompom bird, but all I want from my brief window of existence on this planet is to hold that teensy puffball in the palm of my hand. I want it so goddamned bad I can taste it.
posted by nerdfish at 12:06 AM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Don't lick the tiny fluffball!
Petting only!

:-)
posted by sio42 at 3:50 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I always said that despite being overshadowed by its big brother, International Bird Rescue do some sterling work.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:48 AM on August 13


i want it to sit on my shoulder and offer me companionable peeps throughout my day

although some kind of tiny bird diapers would be necessary
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 AM on August 13 [2 favorites]


peep
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 AM on August 13 [9 favorites]


"International Bird Rescue"? F.A.B.
posted by yoink at 9:42 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Nestling ravens are more like this.


THAT'S FRICKIN' ADORABLE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:45 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]


As I read this my small parrot is sitting on my shoulder and offering me companionable peeps. And trust me, bird diapers are a real thing and yes, they are helpful.

I once rescued a dew-drenched hummingbird that had been knocked out of the air by a cat. I held it in my hand until it had safely dried off and could fly, all the while overwhelmed by extreme squee. The sensation of its tiny weight coming to buzzing life still gives me goosebumps... those little wingbeats are strong!
posted by kinnakeet at 2:59 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


I also rescued a hummingbird, last year! It was very cold and windy out and it was on the ground just flapping its little wings. I was luckily at a place where a public garden full of flowers was a short walk away so I carried it around from flower to flower and let it drink until it was strong and warm enough to fly away, which took about an hour. I am not even lying when I say it was the highlight of my year.
posted by primalux at 3:44 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


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