As soon as I see them, I yell, “Put them back! Put them back!” because you are never suppose to move an animal you find outside, even tiny ones who don’t have their eyes open yet. Their mother may have left them there, moving from one nest to another and would be back to carry them the rest of the way. Or they fell from the nest and she was feeding them on the ground. Or their mother has passed and sadly, you must let nature take its course.
But you’re never suppose to move them!
Sis tells me she looked everywhere for a nest, looking at the garage roof and behind the shed and there is just no nest anywhere. ‘Where did they come from?’ she wants to know. It baffles us both that there is no nest to be seen. Still, for all we know, that is where the mother hatched them, so that is where they should stay. So Sis gives them each two tiny drips of water from an eye dropper and puts them back.
In the morning, they are still alive, and screaming at her. So she gets some milk and gives them each two tiny drips of milk. ‘Am I prolonging the inevitable?’ she asks. Of course, but I can’t blame her for not being able to listen to them squawk like that. Then, when she comes home from work that evening - then 24 hours out - Bert & Ernie are still alive. So she brings them back into the house. It seems obvious now, with no sightings of a mother, that they are alone. Still, I think she should let nature run its course. But I don’t fight very hard when she says she wants to try to help them go comfortably, at least.
Bert & Ernie couldn’t have been more than a day old when we first found them, their eyes still shut - it didn’t even look like they had eyes. Sis puts them in a small plastic container with no lid, lays a washcloth over them to keep them warm and puts them in her bedroom closet. I mean, I knew they had no chance, but we are in a heat advisory now and it is brutal out there and to think of them dying in the heat like that seems too horrible.
In the morning - this morning - they were still alive, so Sis puts the box in my closet and goes to work. When I checked on them this afternoon, Bert was dead. Ernie was squawking for food. I thought maybe it’s best to just let him go and stop trying. I texted my sister to see what she thought. Before she had answered, I checked again. I thought Ernie was dead now too, but when I touched him, he lifted his head and cried. But he was shaking. He was weak. He was dying. I covered him with the washcloth and left him next to his brother to pass. Then I texted my sister and let her know. I thought it was done. But when Sis got home, Ernie was still hanging in there. She gave him some water and milk drips and then was holding him in her hands. He was asking for more, but she was afraid to give him any, because his tummy was so small and then, suddenly, he had some sort of spasm - his body giving out or shock from the food, idk - and he flailed right off and out of her hands and hit the floor. She picked him up, sure he was dead then, but he wasn't yet. Ernie was made of tough stuff. She put him back in his washcloth bed in the closet and less than 20 mins later, he had gone.
On a side note, the cats all checked them out curiously, but then continued on with no interest. Kirk was the only one the least bit interested and when we told him to ‘sit like a good boy’, he did. They didn’t even seem to care the birds were in the closet at all.
Poor little Bert & Ernie. They were so young, they didn’t even look like birds. They looked like embryos still. Here is the video I put up on my tumblr, if you want to see them the night we brought them into the house. It’s a sad story, but that is nature sometimes.