We hung two wasp traps from the apple trees in our back yard. They were “caged” glue traps that were supposed to attract unwanted flying pests, while also being bird proof.
Tell that to the poor bird that made its way into the trap and got its back and wing stuck to the glue strip.
I discovered him while I was talking on the phone on our screened in back porch. I thought I saw something in the trap, and assumed it was a bird or squirrel. I almost didn’t take a closer look, but decided I should, expecting to find a small animal I could easily free.
No such luck.
The poor bird was stuck fast and had done a lot of damage to himself trying to get free. After a brief panic and intense wave of guilt, I looked up how to free an animal from a glue trap on the webs and got to work. Once I was gloved, goggled, and masked, I covered his head with a small cloth to calm him down, then slowly and carefully used olive oil soaked Q-tips to release him from the glue. Once he was completely released, I used a damp cloth to gently wipe away what oil I could. Then I set him down in the grass and removed his head cloth. He could stand, but not move much, and certainly couldn’t fly.
I went inside to get a box, then found him in the exact same spot, where I scooped him up and moved him to the front yard, safe from my dogs. I found a shaded spot under some thick Day Lilly growth, where I thought he could rest, with some cover from predators. I had no real expectation he would survive, but I did what I could to make him as safe and comfortable as I could.
He died that afternoon, in the same spot I left him.
I don’t handle animal death or suffering well, and this one hit me hard, because we had hung the trap he got stuck in.
Both traps were removed and discarded, and glue traps of any kind are now banned from our home.
I take some small comfort in knowing he didn’t die stuck to that trap. I’d like to think there was some sense of relief for him that he had been freed. But he suffered and died because of something we did, and that will bother me for a long time to come.