At work today, there was a raptor (don't ask me what kind -- I'm horrible at bird identifications. It was too small to be a red tailed hawk -- maybe a sharp-shinned hawk?) that was just standing in the water in the fake river that runs between the buildings. This was really abnormal behavior, and when it was briefly standing on land, it held up one foot, as if maybe it was injured.
Someone asked me (uh, former veterinarian who used to treat a lot of raptors and had techs who were excellent at bird identification so I didn't have to) about it, but of course when I went over to get a closer look, it flew up into a nearby tree.
A couple of hours later it was back in the water, so I grabbed a cardboard box on the off chance that it held still long enough for me to grab it, then made my boss (H) come outside with me so someone could pull me out of the water if I slid down the bank. His wife (S) came along because she figured if I fell in, H could pull me out while she recorded it all for posterity.
[It is important to note here that neither H nor S speak English as their native language, though they are both completely fluent. In particular, H and I had a very surreal conversation one day when I was talking about my birds and when I said "conure" (tiny, loud parrots) he thought I said "condor" (huge, endangered birds) and there was a good five minutes of disbelief on both sides before we figured it out.]
So today, the three of us walked outside to try to catch the bird --
Me (pointing to the water): There it is.
S: That's a duck.
Me: *looking at her in disbelief because even I
can identify a freaking duck
H: It can't be! It has wings!1
Me: *whips head around to look at him because... wtf
, ducks have wings too
At this point I deployed the tact that I'm famous for and said "I'm not sure which one of you said the stupider thing."
Anyhow, when we got closer to the bird-with-wings-that-was-definitely-NOT-a-duck, it flew into another tree, so that was that. If it really is injured or sick, they're just going to have to wait until it's too weak to fly and then catch it and take it to the wildlife center.
I gave them the 30-second talk on what to avoid when grabbing a raptor ("The talons. Avoid the talons."), but honestly, if the bird's survival depends on these two, it's doomed.
1) Turns out he thought she said "dog", not "duck" which clears things up until you start to wonder why he believed she could mistake what was clearly a RAPTOR for a DOG.