Lois noticed the sounds when she went out to the kitchen for breakfast. Scuffling noises above the stove-top, in the vent that carries hot air away when cooking. I came out in response to her calls. Soon the small noises turned to louder noises of a highly distressed bird. Then banging as the birds tried harder and harder to get out.
Lois left work. I am squeamish. Lois kills spiders and other bugs when they appear. I was home alone with the birds. I called Ben, a friend who put in our furnace, figuring he knows about duct work and could help me get at the trapped birds. Ben showed up, and we opened the cupboard above the stove. We discovered that there is no real duct work there, just wood panelling that directs the hot air into the attic when you turn the fan on.
The panelling had given about an inch under the birds struggles. We found a couple of badminton racquets and a garbage bag, and set about freeing the birds. the plan was that they would fly out the French doors and find freedom. The first one shot out--a young black frantic grackle! He hit the window on the far wall as I jumped back a good five yards. Did I mention I'm squeamish!
Ben got that window open, and the bird sped off to freedom. Then we realized a second one was still trapped. Ben levered the panel a little more open, and a second grackle shot out through the French doors. To my great relief.
Ben left (with my profound gratitude), and I cleaned up. Not much mess, thankfully. I screwed some wood nails into the panelling, reattaching it firmly to keep anything else from the attic firmly out.
I believe we should love all God's creatures, but I don't. Grackles! They chase other birds away from our bird feeders. And now they've tried invading the house.
I walked around outside and eventually located a small round vent from the attic to the outside, with a flap to keep birds out. The flap is bent, and I suspect that these two young birds perched on the edge of the overhanging cover, and bent the flap out and squeezed in. If they were trying to mate and make a nest, they picked a really bad place. Now I need to replace that vent and make sure that there are no more grackle events through that vent in our kitchen!