General Question

NostalgicChills's avatar

I found a very injured bird, what should I do to help it?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2779points) May 17th, 2011

I was walking home from school and found a pigeon with wings ripped off and it was in very bad shape. I called the closest animal hospital, and they said they could humanely euthanize it, which I agreed to, because this bird is in too much of a critical condition to survive any procedure etc. and I would rather it not suffer. The problem is, my father doesn’t come home until half an hour to an hour from now, and I can’t drive. What are some things I could do in the meantime? (I’ve already given it water through a dropper)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

Trojans40's avatar

Kill it yourself.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Trojans40 -I was thinking the same thing.That poor bird:(

YoBob's avatar

Apologies in advance for being so blunt, but the most humane way to put it out of it’s misery is to break it’s neck. Grab by the head and spin. The weight of the body will easily break the neck. WARNING: It is possible (probable) that the head will come off in your hand. So, don’t freak out.

Might want to wear rubber gloves…

NostalgicChills's avatar

Im sorry guys, but I am just NOT doing that. I understand its the most humane, but I just can’t.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Put a small plastic bag over it’s head and secure with a rubber band. The CO2 will build up.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I am sorry you are going through this stressful period. Clearly you are a nice, considerate, gentle, caring person. I understand why you can’t do it. I couldn’t wring it’s neck either but I could shoot and bury it. (But many people can’t do that where they live.)

Either a hawk got it or a neighbor’s roaming cat or… who knows. Understand this is nature in action.

I am glad there are young people like you who care. It gives me hope for the future.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

I can understand your predicament because I couldn’t kill it myself. I’ve had had a lot of animals die in my hands at work or when I had to put them down and it’s a traumatizing experience.

NostalgicChills's avatar

Me and my dad brought the bird to the animal hospital. By then, both eyes were open and it could stand. It had two tags on its legs, and it was a racing pigeon, which explains why it was so calm. The vet said she could fix him up and he would survive as long as the hawks talons didn’t puncture any internal organs. (it was a hawk trying to eat the bird, by the way.)

Ajulutsikael's avatar

Wow, that’s awesome! I’m happy you went to the vet to check it out because you helped save the bird’s life.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I’m happy too! :D
Im so glad I didn’t have to kill it ,

Coloma's avatar


Awwww… great news!

I used to be a wildlife rehabber/volunteer, I always took in the ones nobody wanted. Pigeons, rats, mice, gophers. Cheers and highest honors for your caring and compassionate act!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Thank you for making my day. And thank your Dad too! Clearly kindness runs in the family.

YoBob's avatar

That’s great!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m glad it will be alright.:)

Ladymia69's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe that is a shitty, torturous way to die.Never advocate killing anything in a way you wouldn’t want to be killed yourself.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

That’s incredible. I no idea a bird could survive the shock of having it’s wings taken off. Are you going to post fliers or anything so the owner might claim it?

YoBob's avatar

FWIW, I am skeptical that the original account reflected the reality of the situation. It is quite doubtful that a bird with its “wings ripped off and it was in very bad shape” could survive. Further, the OP neglected to mention that the bird was banded, and even if it was this does not account for docile behavior (traumatic injury, however, does). This makes me suspect that the OP, perhaps, had some sort of hidden data collection agenda.

In any case, if the story is true, I am quite happy that the bird is fairing well.

OTOH, if their was a hidden agenda of data collection, wringing the neck of a suffering bird is, at the end of the day, quite a bit more humane than letting a bird with no chance of recovery suffer a slow and painful death, and those willing to do the dirty work should be counted in the “good karma” rather than the “bad karma” column.

SeaTurtle's avatar

@YoBob , Ending misery is good karma bonus but why would you want to wring its neck?
its not a chicken where you want to preserve the meat. Why would you want a head popping off in your hands and blood splatter coming from its wounds when you could just stand behind it and squish it with a blunt object (spade/rock etc.) ??

YoBob's avatar

Well @SeaTurtle can you suggest an alternate more quick and humane method of dispatching a doomed and suffering bird?

It’s not a matter of wanting “a head popping off in your hands and blood splatter coming from its wounds”, a quick snap of the neck (if done properly) disconnects the spinal chord, which provides for a relatively quick and painless death. OTOH, bludgeoning with a blunt object will also quite possibly result in blood splatter (likely greater than any neck wringing would), and since the brain is still hooked up to the rest of the body the poor critter is quite aware it is being bludgeoned until it’s body finally shuts down.

NostalgicChills's avatar

Sorry guys, I meant to say flesh and feathers ripped off, not wings.
@Neizvestnaya The pigeon was a racing pigeon and had tags on its feet which were registered. Therefore, the vet scanned the tags and found the owner.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kittykat32 Welcome to Fluther! Good news: the OP (Original Poster) notified us several responses up that the bird survived. One lesson I have learned from being a member on this site is to read the whole thread before answering.

Don’t let this response deter you from continuing to post responses and asking questions. We always appreciate new members.

Kittykat32's avatar

Ok I’ll try this again. The important thing 2 remember is 2 put the animals feelings before your own. Wen we are sick we undrstnd & know what’s happning, the animal only knows what it feels; scared & hurting. Putting it down is the only right thing 2 do. Letting nature take it’s time is mean when we are here 2 help each other when we can. I visited my Dad & saw his dog was a mess, he had cancer all over his back & was obviously suffering, he didn’t want 2 put him down til I explained he was being selfish. I cried when I took him 2 the vet but I was relieved later when I knew the suffering was over. It’s not always convenient 2 take a wild small animal to a vet so killing them urself is the only kind thing 2 do. If u put ppr towels around the animal & put him in a plastic grocery bag, u will not have to see it & the poor animal won’t have a clue what’s coming. Just be sure to aim very carefully at its head & hit as hard as u can. The suffering is over & u’ve helped one of Gods creatures. Also the bag idea is ok too but can easily go wrong. Put the animal in a bag & hold it to ur car exhaust pipe for only a second! Any more & u will burn the poor thing. That’s all it takes to let them go in peace by falling asleep but again, this can take long minutes & often goes wrong. Just man or woman up & do the brick on brick head smashing forget ur own feelings & worry about the animal!!

Kittykat32's avatar

p.s. the above is regarding small animals such as birds, lizards etc. don’t try this with large animals as u will most likely have to hit it many times & the whole humane thing has now gone out the window, you’ll do more harm than help. Call the ASPCA or humane center explaining the urgency of the matter & let them come deal with a larger Aminals.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther