A scruffy bird keeps knocking at my door

tony shepherd This is the Crow, or a Raven or Rook that’s been sitting on our doorstep tapping his beak and flying against the glass for the past four hours now.

I’m no expert but he looks like a young ‘un to me, and from watching him move around I’d say he’s got a damaged wing.

For the past two days the tree in our neighbour’s garden has been occupied by a dozen or more Crows (or whatever they are), and we reckon they’re trying to form a rookery or something.

I’m resisting the urge to Google it at the moment just to sound like an expert.

We see the same thing in the graveyard next to the village church. Tall brooding trees full of Crows (is it called a Parliament of Crows?) all making the same creepy, abrasive, wonderful noise.

It’s getting noisy round here too at the moment and with this little chap obviously trying to get into the house it’s like a scene from ‘The Omen’ film.

My wife said we should do something.

‘We’ meaning ME of course. So I did.

I opened a bottle of wine, poured us both a glass and had a think for a bit.

There’s nothing I can do for him. If we let him into the house he’ll just flap round shitting everywhere and wake up the kids. Or my screaming would.

We got a bat in the house once and that was traumatic enough. I phoned the Bat Conservation Trust (you thought English people weren’t really eccentric?)

They said ‘they have sonar and will never fly into your face or hair’

My arse they don’t! I watched my wife’s friend go from a gentle, caring woman who loves all animals to a cursing, leaping monster whacking at her own head with a walking boot trying to dislodge the bat tangled in her hair.

It eventually bit and scratched it’s way to freedom and I threw a towel over it and released it gently into the night.

We used the same towel to mop up the blood from the floor. The rabies shot the day after didn’t help her love for bats either.

Anyway….back to our Crow.

My decision was to do nothing and ‘see what happens’. It’s what the RSPCA say to do anyway.

Tomorrow morning he’ll either be dead or waking us up crowing with his mates. I hope it’s the noisy option.

We’ve lived in the country long enough not to be romantic about wild animals though. The first time I saw a fox ripping a chicken to pieces just a few yards from my feet stopped any Disney notions I might have about nature.

But I like the way nature sometimes just ‘waits to see what happens’

The Crow with the bad wing outside isn’t like Tom Hanks in that crappy ‘Castaway’ movie, planning his escape or trying to make the best of his situation…

No, our crow is just waiting to see what happens.

Unfortunately if a cat or a fox comes in the night I think he’s a gonner.

If he’s only hurt his wing not damaged it, he might just be OK to fly back to his mates tomorrow.

He’s just waiting to see.

And that’s often the best thing I can do with my own business.

Wait and see what happens.

We’re told quite a lot that it’s good to be proacative, and it is. But sometimes (I think) it’s also good to get away from your computer for a while and see how your business goes on it’s own.

You know the way a car pulls to the right or left when you take your hands off the wheel?

Well if you leave your business alone for a couple of weeks and do nothing to it, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what stage you’re at.

For example if you continue to make sales on autopilot you’re doing something right.

If your list continues to grow then your squeeze pages and traffic generation methods obviously work.

But if nothing happens. No sales and no opt-ins then the chances are that that when you DO work on your business you’re focusing on the WRONG things.

Instead of doing whatever day to day tasks you were doing, you might be better off working on implementing systems that run themselves when you take your hands off the wheel.

A really quick example would be recruiting new optins as affiliates. So that they then send you more traffic which in turn generates sales and optins, which you then recruit as affiliates….

And on and on.

Sometimes doing nothing can be good for your business.

It’s something I do on a regular basis.

Consider taking your hands off the wheel for a while and watching what happens.

Comments on crows, business or bats welcome πŸ™‚

EDIT: Good News. As of 10.17am this morning our bird flapped it’s wings a few times and flew onto the roof. He waited there for a while then flew off into the trees. He seemed fine.

There’s a comment crept onto the blog below about my attitude to animals (and birds) that might be considered offensive. I had my finger over the delete button but I very very rarely delete blog comments unless they’re spammy. So I left this one in, as a celebration of the fact that people are all very different πŸ™‚

As with all my opinions – they’re just that. Mine. I’m probably one of the luckiest internet marketers around in that most people who find their way to comment on this blog are open minded, intelligent and have their own carefully formulated opinions. Thanks guys.

As always I stand by my point of view and opinions.

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21 responses to “A scruffy bird keeps knocking at my door

  1. LOL

    Sorry Tony,

    I completely missed thehigh value business education part of the tale…. I’m still sitting here with tears of laughter streaming down my face PMSL at the imagery of crows and bats playing havoc in your house…..

    Very nice after a stressful day of nothing going right… I needed a laugh πŸ™‚

    Now to ‘wait and see’ what tomorrow brings and get back on track (as long as there’s no foxes online that attack!!)



  2. Hi Tony

    It’s funny your post should mention wildlife because we’ve just spent the afternoon watching two beautiful ducks waddle around the garden and we were wondering where they’ve come from as there’s no water nearby as far as I’m aware! I love watching wildlife though – last year we had three chicks in the garden and it was wonderful watching them until our neighbours dog had them!

    Do nothing and see what happens. It’s an interesting thought actually because I usually find that the less effort or the less I touch things the better results I get. It’s like the other day, I worked pretty solidly on my business from 9 in the morning till 10 at night and made 1 sale that day. The next I did nothing at all and made 6 sales. I guess that’s the beauty of internet marketing eh? I’m definitely starting to see that it’s all about systems – and it IS a numbers game too.



  3. Tony, thank you for your reassurance delivered through your storytelling.

    I was just about to setup a RAP product with affiliates in mind as part of my effort to “step away” when I saw your email and thought, “What the hell”. πŸ˜‰

    And there you are, in effect telling me with your suggestion of “hands off the wheel”, “As you were, Patrick, carry on, you’re on the right track”.

    So thank you for helping me check the sails, Tony. With your sage advice I’ve got the wind at my back today with no need to tack.

    With blue skies, about 69F and a nice breeze, it looks like a nice day for sailing here in San Diego. Plenty of motivation here to design my business so that I may take my “hands off the wheel”.

    And best of luck with the new launch (MobiNiche WP theme). I’ve deployed it already on a new site and it’s looking great. I’m anxious to check it with my son’s iPhone tonight!

    Kind Regards,


  4. Hi Tony,

    Geez, that sounds more like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. A very scary movie in its day but my teens think it’s lame.

    I’m still laughing picturing your wife’s friend. Poor thing. She’s probably not been back to visit…

    I have a hard time taking my hands off the wheel, partly because of the trust factor (don’t want to crash and have my family activate my life insurance policy proceeds) and partly because I like to DO.

    It’s a good idea though, gives you the measure of things, and I’ll go for it while I’m on vacation next week.


  5. Great lesson Tony and well written.


    p.s. Call the humane society or wildlife authority for your region. They will come get the crow and nurse it back to health and release it back into the wild. Calling a local veterinarian will net you the local authorities phone number if you can’t find it in the phone book.

  6. Penny

    Thanks Tony!

    That was a really good laugh! You are dead clever how you just worked in the tips at the end. I always enjoy reading your posts.


  7. Great post Tony! I agree 100% – if I let it run and I do not touch anything and still make sales and optins – I’m good πŸ™‚ Actually I have certain elements that automate my business literally. πŸ˜‰ Thanks, Marian

  8. Tony Shepherd

    Thanks for your comments guys QUICK UPDATE: It’s 7.15am and the little chap is still sitting on the doorstep looking. Think I’ll go find him some help today.

  9. Jane

    This post has make me unsub from you and I’m glad since your readers are a bunch of jerks. They think a bird with a damaged wing and a frightened bat is funny?

    You really shouldn’t live in the country. Obviously you know nothing about nature and don’t much like it. Anyone with a heart (or brain) would have taken a little time and effort to help the bird. God, what a dickhead you are, and a lazy one at that.

    As for your marketing strategy, well, no comment.

    I hope one day you find yourself in pain and in need of help and everyone just waits around to see if you die or not.

    Ciao. What goes round comes round.

  10. Pascal

    Crows are very intelligent and clever beings. It is very unlikely that he is ‘waiting to see what happens’. He’s not ‘just waiting to see’. He is probably in pain and is confused and, on top ofthat, hungry and thirsty. You might like to take five minutes while you drink your wine to make a phone call to the RSPCA, or to the local vet for advice on people who give their time to help in such cases. I’m shocked a bit at your ruthless attitude. Yes, nature is cruel, but sitting watching a living creature in trouble when it would take you five minutes to do something about it is rather nasty of you.

    Have a heart, please. Call for help. You might even feel good about it after. If you can put the bird in a box in the meantime, out of harm’w way, with holes punched in it so it can breathe, with some cat food (not fish one) and water all the better. Had you helped when you first saw the bird, or asked someone else to, you would have saved it much suffering. You seem to think birds with injuries don’t feel pain.

  11. Lucy Harrington-Forsythe

    I’m not sure I got the post’s point. It’s not up to your normal standard, for sure. Using the bird as an example was bizarre, I think. Of course you should not let it into your house. It would injure itself more. But you’re not right to say you can’t do anything for it. RUBBISH. You could put it in a box (as I think someone sais) out of harm’s way with at least some water to drink, and call for help. Are you just going to leave it to starve to death/die of thirst in pain? Whoa! And you took a picture of it, too? What will be the point of the post if it dies in your garden because you didn’t help it when you had every opportunity to do so. I don’t get it. I don’t get you.

  12. Tony Shepherd

    Wow guys – I’m sorry if I upset anyone. I updated my post earlier to say that the bird had indeed stretched it’s wings and after a few pauses, flew off into the trees so it seems fine.

    The advice last night on the RSPCA website and other rescue sites I checked out was what actually what prompted the whole post. It said that you should never approach or pick up a bird, especially a young one (as mine is) because many bird injuries are due to shock or non-serious injuries and they’ll eventually recover and fly off on their own.

    They say you should ‘wait and see what happens’

    Even picking it up to put it out of the reach of cats and foxes can be the wrong thing because it can stress the bird so much it dies.

    Picking it up and putting it in a box is definitely the wrong thing to do. Calling out a rescue service ‘after at least 24 hours’ would be the right thing.

    Hence the post about waiting to see.

    Tell you what though – this’ll teach me to stay away from politics, religion and animals in my posts!

  13. dave connor

    hi tony ,glad to hear your crow has flown off but have you any wildlife aid people round your way we have one here near leatherhead and are always happy to come and get any injured birds, foxes or badgers or if you are able to take the injured animal/bird to them they are really good at fixing these creatures or even giving advice on the phone,just a thought in case you get something like it again in the future.

  14. Jane de Moratti

    Well, having successfully rescued numerous birds in my life I can tell you I’ve never been pecked by any of them, crows and even seagulls included. You can pick them up if it’s necessary (obviously there’s a right and a wrong way). Putting them in a box in the shade actually calms them down and helps them feel safer from predators. I have saved many, many birds of all sizes and lived to see them released back into the wild. I must say I don’t agree with a lot of what the RSPCA say. Maybe the RSPB would give better advice. 24 hours is definitely a long time to leave an injured bird. Obviously it depends on injury and circumstances, size of bird etc. Some people DO interfere unnecessarily and every year young birds are separated from their parents as people are worried about them. Most bird experts would advice you to carefully pick up an injured bird that’s in danger from cats etc. and put it safely on a branch out of harm’s way. Then to get help if it is still there and in difficulty. I’m glad your little chap flew off and I hope his injury was minor. Maybe you should have been a bit clearer in your post. I think you said something about not being bothered to Google to see what type of bird it was, and you didn’t mention that you had looked up what should do. I must say, it did make you seem a little callous! Anyway, glad it all worked out well.

  15. Elsa Hagen

    I work at a veterinary center and this knowledge is what we tell to anyone who finds a hurt bird. They must leave it completely alone for 12 hours at the least. Tony did the correct thing.


  16. Tony Shepherd

    Actually Jane (de Moratti) you have two great pieces of advice here.

    One is that you’re dead right about going to the experts – the RSPB instead of the RSPCA would have been a better idea. I went to the RSPCA

    And secondly I should have made it a bit clearer in my post that I was seeking advice. I’m not a totally heartless bugger πŸ™‚

  17. Tony Shepherd

    Lucy Harrington-Forsythe said…

    “But you’re not right to say you can’t do anything for it. RUBBISH. You could put it in a box (as I think someone sais) out of harm’s way with at least some water to drink, and call for help”.

    Sorry Lucy but that’s just not the advice I received from the RSPCA.


  18. Hugh Jarce

    We once had an old bat in the attic that kept banging on the floorboards to be let out. Eventually I took the wife’s mum back to the old peoples home.

  19. I love your stories Tony and the way that you can turn a dead funny tale into a marketing strategy is just something that you can’t teach.

    We have a tom cat called Tommy and he is always bringing home something (sometimes dead and other times alive) the other morning I opened the back door to find the head of a rather large pigeon looking up at me.

    It reminded me of the scene from the god farther with the horses head πŸ˜‰

    Good stuff Tony, keep them coming mate.


  20. Nick

    As for phoning the RSPB, I did that when I found an unconscious Barn Owl in the middle of the road. The advice I was given was put it’s head under your wheel and crush it because if it’s been hit by a car it’s probably injured anyway.
    I chose instead to try and find a vet. About 3 miles up the road it came round, flapped it’s way onto my steering wheel and sat giving me filthy looks. With difficulty I pulled into a picnic area and the beast was quite happy to cling onto my finger, (ever been grateful you weren’t a mouse?)with it’s long and extremely sharp talons. It sat on my finger for about 25 yards as I carried it to some trees, then suddenly flapped it’s way off.
    The lesson I learned from that was choose carefully who you listen to(and leave injured animals off the road).
    That’s why this is one of the few blogs I read. The style appeals and it’s full of valuable little snippets.
    Thank you Tony for brightening up my day!

  21. Tony Shepherd

    Good story Nick. Moral in there too mate of course – be careful whose advice you take.

    Great RSPB advice though. We should publish their number on the blog for some of my more irate readers. Take the heat of me πŸ™‚

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