Well, I have heard of pulling rabbits out of top hats but whether I could achieve the same thing with a pigeon and a chimney was another matter. A lady Vicar was concerned that a pigeon had fallen down the chimney in her study and was stuck. Obviously this bird problem needed some prompt action. Opinion differed as to what to do. The RSPCA said to darken the room and encourage the bird to fly back out the top. Maybe, but unlikely I thought.
My feeling having dealt with pigeons in church bell-towers and in other buildings was that the bird was unlikely to get through a small hole at the top and was more likely to come out the fireplace end. I suggested putting two cage traps baited with bird seed in the room to allow the bird to be caught overnight and then released...if everything went according to plan! When I got there the Church Warden had spotted the unfortunate bird with his torch, perched on a ledge about three feet up the chimney. I might just be able to grab a handful of tail feathers if I wedged my arm as far up as i could. Guess what, after grabbing some tail feathers and a wing and then clutching the bird with both hands I was able to manoever it out along with a fair amount of struggling from the bird.
We released it onto the garden path outside the Vicarage, it was dazed and a bit dishevelled from it's ordeal, it wandered around a bit, obviously glad to be free, but disorientated. After walking down the path there was a clutter of feathers and off it flew into the evening sky.
A good result and one lucy bird. Three cheers for Saint Gall. Pest Purge, helping small animals that are not always pests.