Birds are so fun to watch fly around, not to mention how enjoyable it is to listen to them sing. Cino also enjoys watching them out the window and does a funny ducking down into “attack” mode when they fly by. This Mother’s Day our family enjoyed watching beautiful birds out a “Bird Viewing” window at a cute store in a small town. There is no doubt birds are beautiful and fun to have around.
Unfortunately today, when I was driving home on my lunch break, I noticed a bird in the middle of the road. I noticed something else next to the bird and my first thought was the bird was just eating something from the ground. As I got closer, the bird flew away. Unsure of what was lying in the road, I drove around it and as I passed by and was looking down, I found myself eye to eye with a very injured bird. It was making all kinds of noises looking right at me as I drove by. He looked angry and in a lot of distress. I don’t think this was a bird who just had a broken wing, it looked much worse. I think maybe the bird was just trying to defend itself with its angry noises as people drove by him helpless on the ground. But part of me felt the bird was asking me for help.
I continued driving slowly down the street trying to process what I just saw. This bird happened to be lying right in front of a police station, so I decided to make a U-turn and I pulled into the station. When I got inside there were two options. To the right was the police department and to the left was “Street, Water, Sewer, etc.” I hesitantly went to the left. A woman right away said “Can I help you?”, so I explained what I saw. She said she would contact their “street” people. I drove away from the police station praying for this little bird.
Am I the only one who can’t just let this stuff go? Oy!
I was still feeling concerned about this bird and wondering if I did the right thing. I was going back & forth in my mind thinking of my options.
- I could leave it be and pray that someone from the “street” department would do something about it (but what exactly would they do and do I want to know?”),
- Gather a box or something to scoop it up myself if it was still there when I drove by coming back from my break,
- Go back to work and if I still see it, ask someone there to go with me to try to help it,
- Then there was the thought of do I even want to drive by there and see it in such misery or do I want to trust that the “street” people will do something about it and therefore drive a different route back?
Again, I can’t be the only one who goes through such things when it comes to animals? Am I? I really hope I’m not.
But there were also thoughts of how this happened to the bird? Did it get hit by a car by an impatient driver who didn’t want to wait for it to move out of the way? How many other people just drove by this poor bird? In fact, I saw a woman walking on the other side of the street. Did she not notice? There were a lot of bird noises around there. Did she just think she was listening to the birds singing?
Well, I chose to drive back that direction to check on the bird. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do if it was still there, but I needed to check. The bird was not lying in the road anymore, but I saw a bird on the left side of the road laying upside down, mouth hanging open, looking pretty dead. I assumed that was the injured bird I had seen before. I looked to the right side of the road and saw a bird sitting in the grass looking over to the other side making noises.
There were many mixed emotions about the whole thing. On one hand, I was relieved the bird wasn’t suffering anymore, on the other it was a lost life and I don’t know how it ended. Did another car run it over and “finish it off?” Did one of the street people even try to help it or did they just “finish it off?”
My mind went to the other bird that was next to the injured bird when I first saw it. It flew over to the other side of the street when I drove by, but when I looked in my rear view mirror it went back to its injured friend after I had passed by. Was that the bird I saw when I came back looking over to the opposite side of the road where the now dead bird lie? Was it feeling sad for a friend it just watched die? I was having a hard time shaking this off and again, I started to wonder how many other people would spend this much time concerned and thinking about two birds.
It may be a while before I can let go of the image in my head of this bird looking at me helpless. But I am glad it is not suffering anymore and I did say a prayer for its friend.
Probably nothing you could have done for it’s injuries. Michelle (my wife) is always finding little birds and trying to help them. They are so tiny and fragile, and so hard to keep alive. I am going to do a post on our little rescue bird.
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I would have had no idea what to do. If anything, I would have driven him to a wildlife rehabilitation place. But I would have been scared to even pick it up. I will watch for your post.
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I so understand your feelings. It’s utter helplessness along with not knowing what to do, along with despair over a suffering being and then a lost life.
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Thanks for understanding. I still picture it every time I drive down that street and I get pretty emotional. It’s hard for someone to understand unless they saw that bird looking at them as I did.
I know exactly what you went through! I wrote a blog post called “Ode to a Turkey” on Shepherding All God’s Creatures blog. A similar story with a group of turkeys and the freeway. I still see the pictures and hear the birds cries for their friend; I still see the whole group and their confusion….. Bless you for doing all you could!
Just in case you don’t know, you might, there is a place in the twin cities called Wildlife Rehabilitation Center; they take in injured wildlife and if they can be saved, they nurture them back to health and then release them in the area they were found in. My friend recently helped me rescue an injured Canadian Goose; we took him/her there, and unfortunately the injuries were too severe and the bird had to be put down; but Frieda/Frodo did not continue to lay in the ditch for days on end, in the rain and cold, unable to move; I was sad that the bird had a broken spine, but glad that after three days of seeing the bird in the same place and the mate, who also had been injured but could walk and fly and had left, went down into the ditch after work to check on the bird to discover the birds fate; it was then I knew I could not walk away and leave him/her to suffer.
I am glad that the bird you saw no longer is suffering too and it was likely quick, thank God. I always say a prayer for a dead animal when I see one and imagine their spirit being back with God where the ravages of this life no longer can touch them.
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Thanks Kathy. I am still feeling bad about this bird becasue I don’t think I did all I could for the bird. I could have tried to pick up the bird myself and brought it somewhere, but I was afraid and confused about what to do.