Lost and Found: The Curious Tale of the Randy Rooster Captured Yesterday Near Precita Park

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Neighbor Jeremy tells the tale of the rooster that showed up outside his home near Precita Park yesterday, how he (valiantly) captured said rooster, and how you can claim the creature if he was yours:

On Sunday I overheard the murmur of a crowd of onlookers gathering outside my house. I caught snippets such as “Wow, look! It’s a rooster”, and “How did that rooster get there?”. After what sounded like an entire class field trip stopped by to gawk, goaded by a parental “Hey look kids! A rooster!  I figured I should go out and see it for myself.

When I opened my front door, however, I wasn’t prepared for A Full-On, Actual Rooster, standing on my doorstep. I closed the door and shouted for my girlfriend:

“Honey!

“What?”

“There’s a rooster on the doorstep!”

The SF’s Animal Control dispatcher that I reached on the phone said, “We’ve only got two officers on duty today and we’re overbooked. By the time we get someone out there, he’ll probably be long gone.”

I had opened the door. The rooster was now staring back at me, intently.

“Is there any way you can keep him there?”, the dispatcher continued.

Note closely that the dispatcher hadn’t ask me to “catch” the rooster; that was just Strongly Implied. I knew this routine. My previous encounters with Animal Control have taught me that they don’t want to incur liability should a caller get injured handling an animal themselves.

“Uh, sure. I’ll try,” I replied.

“Thanks. Call back and let us know what happens. There have been two roosters in your area causing havok. We caught one of them; this sounds like his ‘brother’.”

I’m not rooster wrangler, so what I could I possibly do? Flashbacks of the vivid cockfighting scenes in Alex Haley’s “Roots” raced through my mind as we tenatively approached him with a bathroom towel. Would this end with a chalk outline of my body sprawled down the stairway? Would I end up a line item in the world “Fatality By Chicken” index?

The towel finally startled him and with a squawk he took the air and “flew”, in so much as chickens do, over to the neighbor’s stairway, landing with a muffled thunk against the railing.

By now I had attracted the attention of a neighbor. “Is that your rooster?” she asked.

She told me how she had just arrived home and found her porch a mess of bird droppings and scratch marks. “We though maybe a dog had chased a pigeon into our yard. We’ve been gone over the weekend. He must have been there the whole time.”

“Nope, I have no idea where he’s from,” I said. “Actually,” I paused, “I think he’s one of the mystery roosters that I hear crowing from the yards of one of my backyward neighbors. I’ve never been able to tell from exactly where, though.”

I called Animal Control to let them know that, alas, the rooster got away (and was no longer My Problem). I wished them the Best Of Luck.

“Ok, well, we’ll send someone out. Maybe he’ll still hang around, but I
doubt it,” said the dispatcher.

After hanging up I looked back to the bottom of my neighbor’s stairway and the rooster wasn’t there. Instead, he had walked up the stairs and nestled himself in a nook formed by the elongated railing.

“Do I really want to be a hero today?” I murmured to myself.

Catching a chicken is hard in an open space, but now there was a rare opportunity since he’d walled himself in on three sides. I sighed, picked up the towel, and walked up my neighbor’s staircase.

Cautiously, I approached with the towel fully stretched between my arms. I knew vaguely that I should try to hide my face lest he be startled the gaze of my primate, binocular, predator eyes. Peeking over the towel every now and then, however, I anthropomorphized a look of calm perplexity on his face.

Finally, I had stepped up all the way and covered the nook with the towel. He was trapped, but strangely to me, he was not alarmed. Are roosters really that dumb?

The first neighbor was back.

“You’ve got him?” She asked.

“Well, I’ve got him trapped,” I said.

“Just get the towel over his head and grab him over the wings.”, she offered, helpfully. “They calm down when you get them like that.”

I learned that she herself kept chickens in her backyard. “I hope he doesn’t get in with them,” she added.

Sure enough, using the extra courage afforded to me by the pair of gloves and protective eyewear that she ran back and got for me, I had the bird in my hands. I could not believe it.

“Genius,” said someone behind me. It was the neighbor who owned the stairway, who had opened her door during the time I had first gotten him trapped.

I placed the rooster bundle into a cat carrier and called Animal Control triumphantly.

“Randy,” as I will call him, is now at the shelter at 15th and Harrison streets. He will be held there for 5 days, at which point, I am happy to learn, he will be given to an animal rescue organization if unclaimed.

Please post his pictures so that he might be rescued.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Jeremy Cooper

Slacker Raccoon Invades Bernal Home, Plunders Cat Food, Takes Leisurely Nap

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Neighbor Rusty, who lives on the upper reaches of Treat on the north slope, recently played host to an uninvited guest, and his security camera captured the house party:

A raccoon came in through the cat door the other night while I was away. He spent about 5 minutes chowing down, then decided to chill out and finally WENT TO SLEEP for 30 minutes before leaving. (He then came back around 2 hours later for a second round of snacks, but only stayed for a few minutes that time.)

My cat seemed oblivious to the whole thing. Lazy cat!

I now have to keep the cat door locked at night.

On the bright side, Bernalwood sources say the raccoon left some very nice comments about Neighbor Rusty’s home on Airbnb.

PHOTO: Security camera images from Neighbor Rusty

Baby Snake Greets Bernal Neighbor on Front Steps

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Last night, Neighbor Kendall found a lurker on his front steps:

I came home from picking my daughter up from soccer around 6 pm and found this little baby on our front steps on the North Slope. We are aways away from any shrubbery so I’m not sure how she got here. But she climbed/slithered up several of our front steps. Some research indicates she’s a juvenile gopher snake. There’s no rattle. There must’ve been a hatching nearby. I wonder if other folks are seeing these little guys around? Super cute!

Let’s zoom and enhance for a closer look:

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Yikes!

Loudmouth Bernal Heights Frogs Want Sex, Won’t Shut Up

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Everyone knows Bernal Heights is home to lots of dogs. And some cats. And some dissident parrots. But Neighbor Lori is playing host to some really chatty Bernal Heights frogs:

They are Pacific Chorus Frogs, in my backyard pond. It ‘s breeding season, and they are loudmouths! The males make a lot of noise, mostly at night. They stop if I get too close. They are native to the Bernal area and were rescued from behind an industrial shop. I’ve had the pond about five years or so, and every spring during the breeding season they sing. They are hard to see, because they are so tiny. But in the summer when it gets dry I find them camped out around the garden hose.

These frogs are small, but they make a big noise. Here’s Neighbor Lori’s recording of the frog chorus in her back yard:

PHOTO: Frog in Neighbor Lori’s backyard, by Neighbor Lori

Found: Are You Missing Your Parakeet?

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Neighbor Sara found this parakeet, and if it’s yours, she’d like you to have it:

I found this cute and cold parakeet this morning on Winfield near Esmeralda street. If you know someone who is missing it,  please have them contact me. It is safe and warm inside now, albeit in a bucket. Unfortunately, I am not equipped with a bird cage. Little yellow cheeks with blue dots on top.

Please contact the Bernalwood Small Bird Recovery Hotline (bernalwood@gmail) if you would like to claim the creature.