Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Panic!

The smaller of the cats, the one eyed one, has caught one of the young blackbirds out the back, I ran out and shooed him away while the parents dive bombed the shit out of him, but the young one-which doesn't really looked terribly harmed and seems almost fully grown- has fled under one of the bushes on the opposite side of the garden from where his nest is.
So I'm in a quandry. I've got all the cats locked in, and both parents are now in under the bushes with him. I heard him calling to them a few minutes ago but now everything is silent. What in the name of rum am I supposed to do? If he was bitten will he die? would it have been better to leave the cat and let him finish what he started? What if his wing is broken or something?
Ewww, nature red in tooth and claw is right, this sucks.

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16 Comments:

Blogger grimsaburger said...

I work under the assumption "plenty more where that came from." Circle of life.
I should say, though, I grew up on a farm and have a farm-y attitude to life and death of animals.

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Hmm, I generally let the cats get on with their killin'. That's what they're supposed to do. Plus it's a way of sharpening up the bird and rodent gene pool. Nestlings fannying about on the grass probably should come to a bad end.

That said, when the blue tit chicks were ready to fly I stopped Shitface hanging around under the nest site with his jaws open.

I rescued one gormless chick that was asking for a hasty demise. He sat on my finger looking at me for a bit, then he started climbing the stone wall like Christopher Lee in one of those Hammer classics.

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I do to Grims, but it was the parent's valiant battle to save it that made me terrible, plus they're still calling it. Poor thing, I'm petty sure that cat bites are toxic to birds.
Conan, gormless is a very good description of the little buggers. Magpies, cats, even hedge strimmers, those adult blackbirds never get a break.

1:34 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Don't get me started on Magpies. Them and their ack-ack-ack-ACK chattering. They only arrived here in the 1950s. Any magpie hassle hereabouts and I'm getting me a shotgun.

1:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF YOU WANT TO HELP HIM SWEETY PUT ON A GLOVE GO & PICK HIM UP & PLACE HIME IN A BOX, A LITTLE CARD BOARD BOX BE IDEAL. ASSESS THE DAMAGE IF HE IS ATTEMPTING TO FLY AND CAN STAND UP, HE MOST LIKELY BE OK IF NOT AHEM HE'S QUITE PROBABLY FUCKED. EITHER RING THE DSPCA WHOM WILL HAPPILY TAKE HIM OR FIRE UP THE OVEN AND START MAKING PIES!

2:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Macdara said...

You should have left it alone, thats waht they all say on the nature programs, dont interfere.

Now in saying that I assume that your cats have bells so that they cant sneak up on Birds nesting in innocent looking gardens.

If its still alive you should go out and break its neck as it will be dying in pain from the bite. Sorry but it would be the best thing for it.

2:04 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Maybe the silence indicates that the bird's back in the nest?
I always leave them alone.
We had a bell on the one cat but she hated it.

2:08 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I've been out there wandering about with the oven gloves and a box, but I can't find it. Maybe it made it back to the nest, or maybe it died.
Sigh.
I don't put bells on the cats because I don't put collars on them. Very dangerous thing to have collars on cats, as they're inclined to climb through weird gaps and so on, easy for them to get entangled and trapped. Puddy managed to get hers into her mouth about twelve years ago and that was the end of me and collars. I have the lot of them microchipped instead. Doesn't help the local wild life to be sure, but does mean if any of them ever end up in a pound they can find the owner immediately.

2:18 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah if was dead he'd be still in the garden so he must have survived so dont worry :-)

2:32 p.m.  
Blogger The Painted Ass said...

O, I feel your pain FMC. My dog has taken to killing the rats that live under the hedge at the bottom of the garden. So far, its Dara 4, Rats 0. On Saturday she came trotting up the path with a baby rat in her mouth and dropped it at my feet. She was well chuffed with herself. The poor wee thing was still alive but in bad way - movement at the back end, none at the front. My pleading for her to finish it off fell on deaf ears. She just bit it again half heartedly. I suspect she wanted me to throw it for her. It had to be finished off with the shovel. Grim

4:37 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

The poor wee...rat. I'm glad somebody is willing to let the whole Black Death thing go.

5:56 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Painted Ass, grim and bleeeeeeeeeee. At leat the cats bite meeces to pieces before they spit them at me/leave them where bare feet can't miss them.
Gross.

7:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

EDDIE IZZARD!

"We love them meeces to pieces"

9:45 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

We had a cricket/locust epidemic when we first moved to Kansas and my older cat went around the house and ripped out their legs, leaving them to flounder and die slowly. Oh, she was a terror and I miss her madly. She was a tough 'ol bitch

11:18 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I spent two summers raising orphaned baby birds the public took into Minnesota Uni. They were mostly casualties of tree-felling, spring-cleaning and fishing-line accidents and while you can treat some common infections with antibiotics, most of the birds we got that had been attacked didn't last too long. Some did though and that's the bugger of it. What to do?

When people called us up having actually seen the attack, we'd usually just say let nature take its course, let the cats carry on - although they can be bloody cruel, cats. Plus, depending on the relative scarediness of the species, the added trauma of human handling might well do for the poor wee thing.

If you see it again and it's still in a bad way, the shovel might be the best thing for it. Get himself to do it if you can't. I couldn't but have had the Prob Husb do it a couple of times.

I've seen a few fallen nestlings turn into the most beautiful, alert wee birds though. They really are worth saving - if for no other reason than to try and offset a tiny bit the negative impact we humans have on them.

11:51 p.m.  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

You're right about the toxins in cat saliva. The bird must be treated with antibiotics in less than two hours of being bitten, and even then it's a 50/50 survival rate, as they may have heart damage from the stress. I've raised plenty of orphaned nestlings in my time, but if a cat's gotten a hold of them, they're not likely to make it. If they've just fallen out of the nest, though, and you know what you're doing, they've got a pretty good chance.

Yours sounds like a fledgling: One that's mostly grown, but still learning to fly and learning the ropes, and the parents are still feeding him some. Hopefully he'll be all right.

11:50 a.m.  

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