I Don’t Do Dead

Shiver . . . yucky!

This morning I had to take a dead sparrow out of my LIVE animal trap.  Me . . . who hates to kill anything, by trying to “humanely” trap our pesky ground squirrel and give him a free ride to the desert, caused the death of a beautiful little sparrow.  He probably beat himself to death trying to get free.  Guilt.  Remorse.  Sicky, sad.

What kind of penance should I do?

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
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34 Responses to I Don’t Do Dead

  1. I guess it all depends on what kind of sparrow. If you killed one of my favorites, well… Humph! But I will forgive you, regardless, because I know your intent was not to harm any bird. As one who enjoys most birds, even “ugly” ones I would set it out away from the house and allow it to be food for a Vulture.

    • I set it further from the feeders because the birds were going in if it was too close, but close enough so the squirrel would notice it. I have trapped birds before but never thought they would die. 😦 It was one of those sparrows with the dark markings on the head and throat. I hated having to go out and get it out.

  2. selah says:

    that’s very sad, but accidents happen..

  3. My sympathies — I’m poor at that, too.

    I had to realize this morning that we made a trap for juncos when we set up our mesh for vines last spring. Angus rushed out to grab one that was in the grass beside our front step and it flew away — straight into the mesh on the other side of our step. He got it, I got him, the bird must have got a broken wing. Big hassle.

    You can’t save ’em all. If it’s any comfort, “God sees the little sparrow fall…” (Knowing that He knows often makes me feel better–can’t say just why.)

    • It is tough. I do not do well with creatures dying anyway, but knowing it died trying to escape or just out of plain fear makes me sick..

    • Oh dear! My husband put up mesh stuff for the vines to climp up and the other day I wondered if it would be a hazard to birds. But I know our windows are more of a hazard. We’ve got decals on the ones they are most prone to be run into, but every now and again they find the bare windows. We have not had any bird deaths in a few years, but a couple did hit pretty hard. 😦 I brought one in to see if it would recover-it did. The deaths that are caused by something we’ve done is harder to take than when nature stuff happens, like Cooper’s.

  4. Do you have to take the squirrel to the desert…….Isn’t there another environment more friendly you can set him free in?

    • Not exactly since we live in the desert. 🙂 And he is indigenous. He just would burrow another hole and find another local lawn and garden to pilfer. With my luck, he’d be like those Disney movies where the animals go miles to find their way home! 🙂

  5. You should be at my house as my cat tends to leave me ‘presents’ at the door for breakfast.

  6. I’m sorry. That’s sad. You didn’t do it on purpose though, so that’s gotta count for something. Maybe plant a new tree in the little guy’s honor?

  7. awwwwwww, no penance. the guilt is enough!

  8. I am not quite as familiar with the ways of the four legged creatures, but if grass gathering is any indication, we might be having a batch of baby squinneys soon. The one has been stuffing its mouth full of grass clippings and without any wasted time runs back into its hole.

    • It’s hard to balance the cuteness factor with everything else. I think I may be giving my squirrel a pass rather than kill more birds. There was also a dead finch in the yard. I think I remember hearing a bird hit the window. Argh.

      • Oh a finch! Get yourself some window clings! Put them on the outside of the windows, this breaks up the reflection they see. There are special ones, but we’ve learned regular clings work just as well. You’ll have to work around them for photos, but I think this annoyance is worth it. We once found a dead Yellow-billed Cuckoo, but it was no where near where it would have been a window strike. Oh, it was such a unique and beautiful bird. Only later did we learn how few there are in Iowa.

  9. Dor says:

    You are allowed to cry. Once I accidentally hit a squirrel on the road and I cried all the way home. Or if I find something dead in the pool trap, or a sweet bird who thought my living room window was air. It helps to cry. But, I still I blame the human race for its big unnatural machines and its clever ways of killing – even accidentally. I hate to be included in the human race sometimes, but what choice do we have?

    • Not a lot of choice. My grandpa was a hunter and fisherman, but I got my dad’s heart. He couldn’t kill anything unless there was a life or death threat. Even then, when our dog needed to be shot because of rabies, he had a neighbor do it. It broke his heart.

  10. Madhu says:

    Collateral damage doesn’t count as murder unless you knew the risk beforehand. Remorse is penance enough 🙂

  11. Shez says:

    I found a dead sparrow on our deck bench. He flew into our glass rails on our deck. I took a photo of it, for drawing reference, but deleted it instead, did not like seeing it. Thanks to one of your “commenters” about the cling film. That is something we can try. Knowing your post and her comment may save lots of birds world wide should help you feel better. 😉

    • We usually don’t have a lot of trouble with birds hitting the window. I think the double panes give off a different reflection. But one time we had a raven pecking and flapping at one of our high windows by the roofline. It was like out of Hitchcock’s bird movie. He was determined to get in, so it must be clear enough for that!

      • Shez says:

        Our windows are double pane and birds seldom fly into them. Our deck on the other hand has glass panels. It is 8 feet above the ground level and looks out at a protected wet lands (part of our yard is protected) and attracts all kinds of water fowl and birds. We wanted to have a clear view of all the nature. Not many casualties but even one if it can be avoided would be our goal.

  12. Lindy Lee says:

    Set the trap & watch the trap until you catch what you want to catch. If you tire of watching before the catching, release the trap. Tomorrow is another day…

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