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Baby Bird Abandoned to Death In It's Nest

Updated on June 12, 2012

Saddest Baby Bird Story

Fair warning to all, especially if you like animals and baby one's at that. Sorry in advance for this sad story if things like that get to you. Not sure how this couldn't get to everyone.

Who doesn't like the sound of baby birds chirping in their nest? We heard these baby birds chirping the other day so happily. They were hungry however, of course. We peeked at the nest which was near our driveway, and everything looked perfect. We didn't get close, as we know birds need their space.

It was so exciting you see. If you don't know me, you don't know that I try to save even an ant or a spider I find in my house. I have a way I put them outside, and I know I am goofy that way, but it makes me happy somehow.

Well, tonight we saw a different bird, an older little robin, compared to the newly hatched babies in the other nest. He was sitting on the front porch, beak positioned up, for a few hours. It was as if he was waiting for his mother to bring him a worm or a little grub or something. He sat motionless, and very serious. Where was his mother, or was he on his own now?

This prompted my husband to say, "what is with the bird parents these days? Sometimes, I have to wonder about them." I said, "what do you mean?" He proceeded to tell me the following.

He had mowed the lawn yesterday, and decided to peek in on the baby bird. It was dead. It was dried and shriveled up and had little fleas or something on it. I am so sorry if this hits you the same way it hit me, like a sock in the gut. My jaw was on the ground practically and my hand went to my heart. I am a "softy" when it comes to animals and critters I guess, and especially babies.

A thousand questions poured into my mind, and we all were so sad. I may be naive here, but I have never experienced seeing a nest that turned out to be abandoned like this! Everything seemed perfect! The nest was perfect, clearly the parents had worked hard on it! The location was great as anywhere. The birdies were strong and hungry and eager to eat. They died. My heart is broken.

The very slim chance there is some scientist out there that researches things like this that may be looking into some concerning trends or something, I am deciding to share this publicly. The location is the Midwest, in Missouri, and the second week in June 2012. We run sprinklers, and have a lot of wildlife around that seems to thrive OK. I do know people do spray pesticides, and that there are a few predatory types of animals but not too much. My thought is that the mother is dead also. Nothing else explains what happened after.

If only I had known, then I could have done something to save this little bird. It seems amazing my heart can feel so broken about this, but that is how I feel. The poor little birds. What happened? Do you have any thoughts?

Lastly, I am posting the picture here. This is where I can't take it very well, as I remember the sound and eagerness with which they were wanting some food. Oh my heart.....what happened? I hoped to post this later, as I have taken photos of other birds in nests, that grew to be strong and leave the nest. This wasn't even that great a shot because of the fullness of the leaves on the tree. So this was the best I could do. They are gone now. You can see the one bird, and the other one's little beak. He wasn't quite as strong. How cruel and sad. RIP little birds.

© Copyright 2012 by Oceansnsunsets. All Rights Reserved.

The little Baby Birds that died. RIP precious babies.

I have tears in my eyes, I can't hardly bear to post this.  RIP little birds.  I am so sorry you didn't make it.   We kept at a distance, I was lucky to get this shot.  They were so strong and hungry.
I have tears in my eyes, I can't hardly bear to post this. RIP little birds. I am so sorry you didn't make it. We kept at a distance, I was lucky to get this shot. They were so strong and hungry. | Source

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Virginia, that is a very sweet story! I am so glad you shared it. Perhaps it will help someone else that finds a baby starling such as you and I described. I wish I had found the baby bird in the nest, much sooner, before it was too late. I am so glad you share a much more positive story with a happier ending. All of these days that it is alive, are days to treasure for sure! I too, love nature, its so amazing.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I am heartbroken for a baby starling that did not make it. I was at work in a personal care home, a baby starling fell in our stockroom, on concrete, amazingly no injuries I took him or her home not quite feathered but some feathers so I knew it was almost fledgling. I have fed it moistened cat food mixed with wild bird mix. It is so healthy! but keeps eating off the stick & will not eat on it's own it flys to my shoulder perches on my finger etc. very imprinted I'm afraid! But I take it outside it flys! I taught it to fly up from the ground onto my deck, where I have a birdhouse for it & bird feeder water etc. I will remain patient until it decides to leave into the wild ! It is amazing how it imitates us humans then seems to know it's natural wildness habits. I am in no hurry for the darling starling to leave, but I will make sure it can survive on it's own. It has melted my heart with it's courage I brought it to work everyday to feed it & then home in it's nest where I've made a paradise in my bathroom for him complete with a plastic tree etc. I LOVE NATURE...

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Trish, thank you very much for your comment and story that is not that different from mine really. We both tried to keep a distance from the bird, thinking that was best. You bring up a good point , and perhaps there is so much more going on than we know like a very ill little bird, for whatever reason. I know its part of life to some degree, but it really tugs at our heartstrings to see such sad things sometimes.

      Hopefully we have more happy bird stories in the future. Thank you again for sharing and leaving a comment here.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very sad :(. Recently we had a bird build a nest on our back porch. We weren't sure if there were eggs or anything because it was too high up and we didn't want to bother the birdy. Well, this morning my mom called for me and we saw something weird hanging from the nest. I looked closer and it was a dead baby bird. It's feet were stuck to the nest and for some reason it had a lump on it's body :(. It was so sad and I have no idea how it died or where the mother is( haven't seen her all day). I've heard about some animals abandoning their babies if the baby is maybe birds do..and the lump was something dangerous.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Aviannovice, thank you so much for your comment. The explanation you give is the only one that makes sense to me at all. It is still sad, but at least would explain it. We do live on a fairly busy street, and it who knows what happened to the parent. They were just precious little birds. It makes the picture all the more precious to me too, but sad to see him and the other little sibling. I can remember them fondly, at the very least. :( Thanks for letting me know that you had never heard of it before. It is rather a phenomenon if the mother or parent that normally would have cared for them is still out there.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Oh Sallie, I can see me doing the same thing, if I knew about these little birds. What in the world? It had to be so hard to see the whole process as you did! It all can go SO well, until it just turns like that. I know its survival of the fittest out there, and that includes birds in a little nest. Its hard for us to see, and heartbreaking. I can understand your sadness and anger at the mother bird, but feel so thankful that you loved that little bird and tried so hard to save him.

      Giving him a little burial was so nice too. RIP little birds that don't make it! Thank you for your comment, Sallie.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am so sorry that this happened and you had to find it. I don't know what happened, or why. I have never heard of anything like this before. I can only assume that one parent was raising the little ones and that parent was hit by a car, or something else happened. You didn't do anything wrong, other than to enjoy your birds like anyone else would.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      7 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi Oceansunsets...I'm sorry about your little bird..:( I had a similar experience...I had planted raspberry bushes outside one of our back windows and a bird made a nest in the bushes. We watched the Mom and eggs from inside the window, watched the male bring the Mom food while she sat on the eggs, watched them as they hatched, watched and listened to the baby birds peep, peep, peep for food, and watched as the Momma fed them. One day, I found the smallest of all of the babies on the ground under the bushes...peeping quietly. I was mortified! I picked him up and put him back in the nest. The next day he was on the ground again. So I picked him up and put him back in the nest again. The other babies were being fed and were growing bigger and stonger but it seemed as if the Mom didn't care about him at all and kept pushing him out of the nest. Finally, I had had it with the Mom so I picked him up from the ground for the third time and put him in a box filled with grass. I dug up a worm and tried to feed him but at this point he was so weak, he could hardly eat. My husband said that the Mom probably regurgitated the food for them so I ground up the worm with water and pushed it down his throat a little at a time with a pair of tweezers. I did this for 2 days. Finally, on the third day I found him deceased in his little box. Poor little thing. I was so sad and mad that a Mom could just abandon her baby that way and push him out of the nest. My husband said that he was probably sickly when he hatched and the Mom knew he was going to die and just kicked him out of the nest to make room for the stronger birds. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. I put him in a little box and covered him with a lid, gave him a proper burial and tiny tombstone in the backyard. Someone loved him, even if it wasn't his blood momma.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Kathy, thank you so much for your kind words and all the information you shared here. I truly appreciate it, and hope it maybe helps others as well in the same boat perhaps. Have a great week.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hello Oceansnsunsets. I have no answers about why it appears that parent birds have abandoned nests and their idea at all but, I can find out because, I am working with our local Wildlife Rescue Center and our specialty is songbirds. We save nudies, fledglings, nestlings, injured and ill birds. I am sure that one of the professionals w/whom I volunteer can explain this further. I will be there the upcoming thursday, 6/14 and I will ask. Since it appears that the

      Robin's parents as well as the parents of the babies in the nest all "disappeared," it is possible that a predator bird of a much larger size may have attacked the parents and the babies. Many larger birds actually do this (nature isn't pretty, sometimes) as well as snakes, squirrels, etc.

      I share your sadness over this. It is such a shame...I really have a hard time with animals suffering, babies being abandoned...the whole thing.

      In the future; if you see a baby bird who is out of the nest or appears alone; abandoned; there are things you can do to help.

      You can feed the babies...even the most small (nudies)..using a eye dropper, a very small syringe (not the needle; just the 'tube' part)...and even a "pick"...long plastic tube to feed the very smallest birds. You need to look online or call wildlife/bird experts who can tell you where to get special formula for baby birds...and small worms; etc.

      this is what we do at the songbird clinic...feeding on a regular schedule (20 min., 30 min., or hourly)'s a long process but we have managed to save dozens and dozens of birds this season, so far...and it's just begun. for the little Robin; you can actually pick up that bird and feed him...and give water, too.

      If you're sure that the parents are missing...first, call around and see if there are experts in your area who do this type of can locate these thru the phone book, internet or local Veterinarians who work w/wildlife rescue groups. If this option is not available; contact me and I can give you more details. another writer here who is very knowledgeable about birds is aviannovice...she is an excellent bird rescue person who has spent hours and hours and hours doing just this...

      I share your sadness and dismay; it's heartbreaking to think of what those babies went through. Very sad sad.

      good luck and I hope you're feeling a little better.

      PS...if necessary, you CAN help baby is OK to touch them...birds have NO smell and the old wives' tale that the parents will abandon a baby bird if they smell "human" scent is totally erroneous.

      Best of luck. Kathy


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