a death, and new life

It has been a rather sad week for us.

At the beginning of the week we noticed a scruffy looking pigeon quietly resting on our neighbours fence post. We realised that something was wrong with him. When he made his way into our garden, we could see that he struggled to walk, and his front was pretty messed up. He appeared to be missing feathers on his chest/throat area, and we could see signs of wounds.

We made the decision that we would try to catch him and take him to an animal hospital, but he flew away before we could even open the door. We noticed him come into the garden again the following day, but again he flew away before we could get outside. We then set up a kind of wile e coyote trap with a plastic box and some wire for his next visit in the hope that we could catch him, however we had no luck despite him coming into our garden 2 more times. Each time it was so heart-breaking to see him trying to walk as he looked for seeds on the ground.

Eventually one day we spotted him sitting on the ground by the wall in the car park beside our house. He was so tired we were able to pick him up easily in a blanket. We placed him in the box with seeds, water and a warm water bottle and covered the see-through box with another blanket so he could rest without being scared.

We then contacted a local animal hospital to see if they would take him, and they advised us to bring him round.

Sadly, the next day we were told he was euthanised.

Apparently his crop had been badly torn open, and they could not repair it, so it was deemed kinder to put him to sleep.

We knew when we caught him that he was probably going to die due to the extent of his injuries and his clear exhaustion, but we hoped he could be saved. We named him Ruffles. I don’t have any pictures because after we caught him we just put him straight in the box and tried to leave him alone, as we didn’t want to stress him out.

The hospital said that it was mostly likely that a bird of prey attacked him.

So it has been quite a sad week. I’m glad he’s no longer suffering, but I really wish we could have saved him. Rest in peace Ruffles.

It hasn’t been all bleak, though. Recently on several occasions we have seen a momma sparrow bringing her baby to our garden. The baby waits on the fence or wall usually and the momma has been flying to the feeder and back to the baby to feed him/her. It is very cute to watch. The baby flaps its tiny wings super fast and opens its mouth, waiting for the momma to place tasty treats in there.

We have been able to get photos of this:

Momma sparrow, left, round fuzzy baby, right
Baby flapping its lil wings
Baby gets what it wants!
Second course!

Then when we topped up the coconut, he joined momma sparrow for a go at that as well.

With such an attentive momma I’m sure the lil baby will grow up big and strong.

We also saw what looked like a juvenile starling land on the feeder, for the first time. We got a couple of snaps but they’re not amazing.

He/She was a fiesty thing! Immediately after this it started scrapping with two other starlings and they all flew off.

So there has been some death this week, but also new life which was nice to see.

The Magpie showed up as well, and I finally got some snaps.

It’s no wonder the coconut gets emptied so quickly. The Magpie and the Jackjaws really slam their beaks in there to get big chunks of it.
So pretty.

Other visitors this week include:

Mr Blackbird, looking handsome as always
Multiple Jackdaws, as usual.
Many, many Starlings.
More pigeons. I’m not feeling so fond of the others right now after I saw one of them pecking and chasing Ruffles at one point.
That being said, we took the basket off because it really needs cleaning and it has been a little amusing watching the pigeons land on the top of the feeder instead, looking even more confused than normal.

And that’s everything from this week.

2 thoughts on “a death, and new life”

  1. So sad about poor Ruffles, but you did a kind thing for him. The baby sparrow is very cute. I love it when baby birds flap their wings fast in anticipation of food. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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