Sunday, April 7, 2013

A baby bird incident

As I was stock-checking after the event today, I suddenly heard the frantic chattering of birds in the garden. It sounded like a panic call so I rushed out.

Timmy was running, also in panic mode, and he had a baby bird in his mouth. Two adult birds were chattering wildly. I smacked Timmy real hard but he refused to let go, so I took the hose to spray at him. By then, my husband managed to make Timmy drop the baby bird. He picked up the bird and she was still alive. He then managed to feed the bird some water and she drank.

I made a makeshift bed out of a feeding bowl and a towel and brought the little bird in. She was still breathing and there appeared to be no wound on her body.

Timmy and the cats looking on as we took care of the bird.

 The baby bird.

I stayed with the bird and quickly soaked some baby oats in hot water so that it will soften and I can try to feed her later after she had settled down. After some time, the bird struggled to get out and fluttered its wings. I put her gently back into the towel and she stopped moving.

I knew the baby bird was gone. Sobs... I've rescued birds before and this is what they do just before they die - one last struggle.

My husband came in and he thought the bird was resting or asleep. He put the bird in his hand to keep it warm. She did not move at all.

I've rescued a few birds before, but have never managed to save any. I even brought a big crow to the vet's and he told me that more often than not, they die of shock and fear, not of injuries. That's just the way they are. They are very afraid and too easily stressed.

And cats hunt. It is a natural instinct in them. We can't blame them either.

We suspect that the baby bird was learning to fly and had fallen off from the tree. And Timmy was around.

Poor little birdie...

We buried the baby bird after an hour, just to be sure she was really gone.

Timmy and all the cats looked on, but Timmy hid behind the netting. I guess he could sense that we weren't pleased with him or that he had done something wrong. He looked quite scared and apologetic.

I'll go sprinkle these oats on the birdie's grave. Not that it would help in any way. But that's how we humans grieve, mourn and comfort ourselves.

We take comfort in the small mercy that she did not experience any prolonged suffering. And I take comfort in knowing and believing that rebirth is immediate.

May the little birdie be in a better existence now.


Chen said...

Hi Kah Yein,

My cats like to bring in live baby birds, etc too. And like this case they died after I tried to help them, and so nowadays I found that the best way to help them is to wrap them up loosely in a kitchen towel and leave them somewhere quiet and away from danger, but in the open so that they can fly off when ready. Don't look at them, don't feed them, etc because that will only traumatise them further. And so far this has worked. The bird needs seclusion and away from attention to get itself steady again. Once it feels safe, it can leave. This works also for lizards and toads and etc. Just last evening it was a baby "salamander looking lizard" which my cat brought home. I wrapped it loosely in tissue paper and put it under flower pot (with a gap for it to leave when ready) and sure enough it's gone the next day. Same with birds too. If they are not injured, they'll fly off when left alone.

chankahyein said...

Couldn't put the bird anywhere safe outside in this case because the five Patio Cats were around and we were worried they would hunt the bird down. So we brought the bird into the kitchen with the lights and fan off, covered in the towel. Was such a dilemma...