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Rescued baby bird takes ride by itself to wildlife center. Its new name is ‘Uber’

A baby bird that fell from its nest Saturday got a helping hand from neighbors and an Uber driver hailed because the rescuers had been drinking and didn’t want to drive, a Utah wildlife center says.
A baby bird that fell from its nest Saturday got a helping hand from neighbors and an Uber driver hailed because the rescuers had been drinking and didn’t want to drive, a Utah wildlife center says. Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

Rescuers at a Utah wildlife center got a surprise Saturday when an Uber pulled up with an orphaned wild baby bird as the only passenger.

“We get all kinds, but every once in a while we get something fun or funny,” wrote Buz Marthaler of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in an email to McClatchy.

“The intaker just walked it back to our Baby Bird Room and presented it to our wildlife specialist and reportedly said, ‘This ones name is Uber,’ ” Marthaler wrote.

The bird, a lesser goldfinch, had fallen from a nest in the backyard of a Clinton, Utah, home - surprising some residents at a neighborhood gathering, Marthaler wrote..

“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” said resident Tim Crowley, KSTU reported. But none of the neighbors felt it was safe to drive the bird to the rescue center after having been drinking.

“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’ ” Crowley said, according to the station. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’ ”

The first driver who responded via the ride-hailing app canceled the trip after learning more about the passenger, but a second driver brought the bird to the center, KSTU reported.

The baby bird, who’s otherwise healthy, has been paired with another rescued lesser goldfinch and has a paper-towel “nest,” Marthaler wrote.

The center expects to release the bird back to the wild in about a month, once it has grown up and learned to fly, he wrote.

“Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well!” the center wrote on Facebook.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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