How to Make a Pigeon Burrito


By Sarah Phelan

No, this isn’t my secret recipe for surviving life in the city on a tight budget. Instead, this is my not-so-secret recipe for helping get wild birds out of spaces they’d rather not be in—like trapped in the bay window of Farley’s coffee house on Potrero Hill, which is what happened last week when I was having lunch in the famed establishment and a pigeon flew through the door, then tried to escape, but hit the window, instead.

Understandably, everyone panicked at the sight of a pigeon flying into a window. People screamed, customers ducked and it looked like things could rapidly turn nasty, especially for the pigeon.
At which point I surprised even myself by standing up, picking up my ratty old black jacket which was hanging on the back of my chair, instructing those sitting in the bay window to “Move!” and swiftly throwing ratty jacket over the bird so it was completely engulfed.

Immediately, the bird stopped moving, and I was able to roll it up, in one gentle move, thereby transforming bird and coat into a pigeon burrito, in which the bird was the filler and the coat was the soft shell. With the bird firmly secured, I walked to door, opened my coat and, the bird immediately spread its wings and flew up and away, over the rooftops of Potrero Hill and towards the Bay, like my soul escaping its body.

To my embarrassment, everyone clapped and a man, who was sitting on the bench that wraps around the tree outside Farley’s, shouted, “You’re a hero!”

So, next time you see a bird trapped, surprise yourself by stripping off your coat, sweater, shirt, or whatev, and making a bird burrito. You’ll be glad you did.
ps In case you're wondering, what's this doing on the politics blog, I figure bird rescue is a political statement of sorts...
pps I learned this trick from the fine folks at Native Animal Rescue in Santa Cruz