Struggling after friendly blackbird needed to put to rest.

Hello I need to get this off my chest but I have nobody to talk to about it. Yesterday I had to phone the RSPCA because a blackbird (which we call Billy) who has been visiting us over the past 3 years  came to us in the morning and we immediately noticed something was wrong. His top beak was missing 3/4 of the way down. We assume he had either been attacked or flew into something by mistake. It was heartbreaking to see him trying to eat the food we put out for him but wasn’t able to pick up. Unfortunately he had to be put to sleep after the RSPCA officer took him away as he couldn’t eat anymore and would starve to death.

Me and my family have a lot of memories with him ever since he started interacting with us 3 years ago. There has barely been a day go by when he hasn’t visited. He wasn’t scared of coming close to us and would sit outside the window shouting until we gave him grapes or raisins. This past Summer he was even bringing his babies to feed with him and it was adorable. He was the sweetest bird I have ever met and now that he’s gone I feel empty. I feel guilty because in order for the RSPCA officer to come out I had to catch him first which I did by trapping him in a mesh greenhouse, then had to grab him and put him in a box. He was really frightened about what was happening and I feel like all the trust he had in me just completely vanished in that moment but I couldn’t just leave him to die slowly. I had to do it. I just wish he understood that I wasn’t doing it to attack him..

Another thing that has really got to me is that I wasn’t even aloud to have his body back because the RSPCA said over the phone that they can’t give the information out about which vet he was taken to. I really wanted to bring him home and burry him in the garden. All I have to remember him by now is a few small feathers. I can’t help wondering if the vet just gave him the injection then through him to one side as if he didn’t really matter.

I can’t stop thinking about him and all the memories from over the years and now we will never hear or see him again. I’ve been crying all day. It might sound pathetic but he really made me happy whenever I saw him. I miss him so much :’(

Parents
  • Hello WL, I'm really sorry to hear about Billy; I can also empathise with your situation and what emotions you have and are still going through as we can become very attached to our regular garden birds, especially seeing them on a daily basis and getting to know their character. What I can tell you (having been in same situation) is that you did absolutely the right thing in getting help for this blackbird even though the outcome was a sad one. Please do not dwell on the fact you had to slightly distress Billy when capturing him as the alternative would have been resulted a lot more suffering, maybe for days and he could not have survived with such damage to his beak if it impeded his eating. You did not do a cruel thing by capturing him but a kind service as it would have been heart-breaking to see this bird deteriorate into starvation and therefore you saved him the pain. Blackbirds can be extremely confiding and I have no doubt that his offspring will bring as much joy to you as Billy did. I also understand the sadness of not being able to bury this lovely bird in your garden but try remember all the beautiful moments that Billy brought and that dozens of other birds will bring you in the years to come. As a community of fellow bird enthusiasts we all share your sadness and can recommend getting out into your garden or local area for a walk and just take in the birdlife that is around you, enjoy the sounds and sight of birds moving along in the sky or from tree to tree, and know that Billy is not suffering anymore and that hopefully your sadness will ease by the wonderful encounters with birds you will have from today and into the future. best wishes from Hazel
Reply
  • Hello WL, I'm really sorry to hear about Billy; I can also empathise with your situation and what emotions you have and are still going through as we can become very attached to our regular garden birds, especially seeing them on a daily basis and getting to know their character. What I can tell you (having been in same situation) is that you did absolutely the right thing in getting help for this blackbird even though the outcome was a sad one. Please do not dwell on the fact you had to slightly distress Billy when capturing him as the alternative would have been resulted a lot more suffering, maybe for days and he could not have survived with such damage to his beak if it impeded his eating. You did not do a cruel thing by capturing him but a kind service as it would have been heart-breaking to see this bird deteriorate into starvation and therefore you saved him the pain. Blackbirds can be extremely confiding and I have no doubt that his offspring will bring as much joy to you as Billy did. I also understand the sadness of not being able to bury this lovely bird in your garden but try remember all the beautiful moments that Billy brought and that dozens of other birds will bring you in the years to come. As a community of fellow bird enthusiasts we all share your sadness and can recommend getting out into your garden or local area for a walk and just take in the birdlife that is around you, enjoy the sounds and sight of birds moving along in the sky or from tree to tree, and know that Billy is not suffering anymore and that hopefully your sadness will ease by the wonderful encounters with birds you will have from today and into the future. best wishes from Hazel
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