Spencer the Bird

Writer’s notes:

  • TW: Death of an animal
  • I’m aware wild birds have diseases. The utmost caution was exercised.

Friday night when my boyfriend and I came home, I happened to see a fledgling on the sidewalk leading up to our apartment. This wasn’t a nestling: it had most of its feathers.

I picked him up (and boy was he PISSED) and didn’t see blood or any broken appendages. He had a hard time standing up on his own. I put him in a box and searched the internet: does he need to be rehabilitated? Who should, if anyone, should I call?

Quick searches yielded a few things very clearly:

  1. Based on how he/she looked, Spencer was a nestling and about to be a fledgling. Kind of in the middle.
  2. His mother more than likely knows where he is and will come back to feed him so he can eventually fly.
  3. PUT HIM BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT ASAP. Even better if I knew where the nest was.
I’m guessing he was a common Robin

There are birds who nest on top of our apartment building. That is something myself or even the maintenance person cannot access. That was out of the question.

I also checked the nearby trees: I didn’t see any nests.

When I called the wildlife conservation person for my area, she told me to put her back where I found her because “that’s all what you can do”.

So, next morning, I did. I put Spencer down near where I found him on a flat surface. I ran a few errands and came back a few hours later.

Spencer was on his side and his mouth was wide open. He wasn’t moving.

I picked up and again, he was an angry little man. With the amount of other wildlife we had in the area (there have been bald eagles sightings in the area. I shit you not), I was afraid he wouldn’t be given the chance to live.

I cancelled my movie plans and stayed home. I fed with him an eye dropper. He started to stand up and was active. He even started to clean his wings and try to spread them. He didn’t do well when he was alone.


I often picked him up and placed him in my hands. He calmed down immediately. He seemed quiet. I changed his bedding: he peed and pooped a bit. I was very happy.

I realized Spencer’s life was going to be short as he was a wild animal and captivity was not good news for animals. However, and this is a BIG however, I knew he was going to pass if I left him outside.

This morning, I tried giving him a chance outside again. I left him in the same place. About one and a half hours passed. I paid our rent and cleaned out my car.

Unfortunately, when I came to the place where he was, I found Spencer laying on his side, motionless. He had passed. I did not see any signs of an animal or any type of blood.

The immediate and sudden guilt was overwhelming. If it was one thing I was trying to avoid was him passing alone. I went to our apartment and grabbed a box with some paper towel. Spencer will be buried at my parents’ house next to another cat of mine. I just pray it was quick and his passing was seamless.

RIP Spencer. I only hope I gave you some happiness or comfort.

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