Last night, Cristal was let outside after we got home, as always. When she first runs out, it isn't uncommon for her, or the others for that matter, to flush the birds from the yard. Usually, it's a robin that winds up on the fence watching the dogs until it's safe to go back to the yard and continue it's hunt for worms or whatever.
Well, last night, things took a very interesting turn. Cristal ran outside with her mom, Ruby, and I wasn't too far behind them. The girls flushed a bird out of the fresh cut grass, and Cristal changed her angle of approach to the bird and with one snap, CAUGHT THE BIRD IN MIDFLIGHT!!! I kid you not! There she stood, bird squawking away, wings showing out both sides of her mouth. I said, "DROP IT", and, bless her heart, she did. Everything was fine until the bird tried to peck at her nose when she bent down to investigate the bird more. Then, she quickly snapped up the bird, by the leg this time, and tried to run off with it. "DROP IT" came the command, and she did drop it, although you could tell she wanted to play with her new toy, and probably not in a good way. Then she headed into the house like nothing had ever happened.
Ruby, in the meantime, headed straight for the house as soon as I said "drop it" the first time. She wasn't about to do anything she knew she wasn't supposed to, and she does love the local wildlife, so probably wouldn't hurt anything unless it tried to hurt her first.
Once I got the girls back in the house, I went out to check on the bird, and on closer inspection, it looked like a baby. I opened the back gate, and once the bird found an escape route, it tried to fly away. It made it about 10 feet and then had to land. Then it flew another 10 feet and landed again, but it was walking and moving sluggishly, like a newborn animal would. I'm thinking that it was a baby on it's first trip out of the nest. I think mom was nearby, as I heard chattering and there was a bird flying around watching the baby.
THEN, comes this morning. This time, it was Ruby and McDreamy! Yes, McDreamy!!! We evidently have a small hole in the ground by the foundation of the house where there used to be a rabbit den. There haven't been rabbits in our yard in probably 4+ years, due to Ruby slobbering all over a nest of newborns one time. Anyway, by the time I get outside, Dream has a bird cornered against the foundation, it's wings were spread wide (picture a guy spread-eagled against a building), it's eyes were huge and it's mouth was open. It was a VERY comical sight, but you could tell the poor thing was traumatized. I had to forcefully remove Dream to the house and of course Ruby was having no part of the bird, once she saw what it was. I honestly think Dream wasn't hunting, but more of curiosity mixed with, "oooohhhhh squeaky toy!"
The sad part is that I think it was either the same bird as yesterday, or from the same clutch of eggs. Hopefully in the four hours that the dogs won't be out while we're at work, the bird will recover and fly away. I guess I'll have to make a yard check before I let them out at lunch.