A Bird Dies When Accidently Left In A Car

A Bird Dies When Accidently Left In A Car

 July 28th, 2011
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mexican red headed amazon

A Birdtricks reader asked that we do a post in memory of a 1 year old Mexican redheaded amazon. His death is tragic and hard to think about, but it is something that we can all learn from. Thanks to this reader for sharing her friend’s story with us.

The story is uncomplicated, and could easily happen to any of us. This reader’s friend planned to take her Amazon to work with her. She loaded his carrier into her mother’s car for her ride to work. Six hours later, when her mother returned to pick her up, she asked her daughter why the Amazon was not with her. It was then that they realized what had happened, she had gone to her job and her mother to hers without realizing that the bird was still in the car. Their amazon parrot had passed away in the heat.

I can only imagine the heartbreak. It’s hard enough to lose your beloved companion, but living with the guilt of responsibility must be unbearable.Things can go so wrong, so quickly and so innocently. My heart goes out to them both.

Rosebreasted cockatoo

We have all experienced the tremendous heat that can build up inside a car in the summer months. We leave our cars in blazing, unshaded parking lots at the mall and find it impossible to climb into them when we return. We open the doors and windows and wait until it has cooled to tolerable levels.

A car becomes an oven in the sun. As sunlight streams in through the windows, it is absorbed by the interior of the car. Heat becomes trapped inside and temperatures begin to climb. A car left in direct sunlight during the hottest time of the day can reach temperatures if 140+ , much higher in certain circumstances.

People often make the mistake of thinking that cracking the windows a few inches will alleviate the heat. IT DOES NOT! Even cars with the windows fully rolled down retain too much heat to be safe for animals or humans.

For those of you who might question the gravity of this fact, and might feel inclined to leave your pets in the car while you grab a quick bite to eat, try this experiment: Go out for a drive in the afternoon on a hot day. At some point, turn off your A/C and keep your windows rolled up. You will notice within minutes that the cool air has dissipated, giving way to the oppressive heat outside. Within just a few more minutes, you will find yourself reaching to turn the A/C back on, not just for the sake of comfort, but because you are finding it difficult to breathe. It happens that quickly.

Military macaw

If you ever come across an animal that has been left in a car in the heat (even 80 degrees turns into 110 quickly), immediately call the police – time is not on the animal’s side.Document the incident with your cell phone camera.Unless you want to risk proscecution, don’t try to break into the car. You can be charged, as unfair as that seems, even though trapping an animal in a closed vehicle is illegal.


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41 Comments on “A Bird Dies When Accidently Left In A Car”

Richard Lefief  08/02/2011 1:18 pm

I take my amazon everywhere and yes I need to be very aware of him in the car. When I go hot places I shoot him down with water and keep mim happy and cool. In hot weather maybe even 6 times a day. If I leave him in the car is no more than 5 min with the windows cracked and him cool. I usually take him on my shoulder when I leave the car. Driving he loves the a/c. I would die if I ever hurt him in any way. He is my kid…

Ann Couch  08/02/2011 1:19 pm

Birds is like kids you got to take care of them the same way .

Jenny Meibers  08/02/2011 1:34 pm

I am so sorry for her loss. That is really sad and it takes no time at all in the summer heat.

Kat  08/02/2011 1:36 pm

How can ANYONE “forget” their beloved furred, feathered or human children!!! To me, that’s TOTAL irresponsibility. That person should NOT have dependent companion animals, PERIOD!!! SICKENING!! We’ve heard the warnings again and again and again. My birds and dogs are in air conditioned comfort and I only walk my dogs early in the day and late in the day because of the heat. I know I sound judgmental but this is HORRIFIC!!!

michael and cookie  08/02/2011 1:40 pm

Leave your bird at home. Theres really no reason to take your biird out other than thats what YOU
want. You taking a chance. I put Cookie in tree once, I turned my head for a second and the next thiing I know a cat had her. I don’t know where it came from but it was up in that tree in a New York
second. Cookie thought it was playig with her. Cookie suffered raw marks under one wing, the other wing a feather broke off and never grew back. All because I thought thought it would be
nice to put Cookie up in tree. And she did love it. And thats what it got me. Had I been further away it would have been worse. They make a stroller for Parrots. Its a baby stroller with a perch
in it and it has a plastic front so the Parrot is inclosed and safe. If you want to stroll around with your Parott, get one of those. Its only 1000.00 bucks.

diana g  08/02/2011 1:41 pm

Always happy to read your emails especially with life saving tips for bird owners!

Kathy H  08/02/2011 1:42 pm

This is sad as you hear this every year, children, dogs, cats and now birds get left in the car with windows rolled up. If you can not safely take the animal with you to were you are going make sure you leave them home. As I would rather deal with an animal who is upset that you left them but it alive then a dead one.
And as for the children being left in the car I just don’t even have words for that.

Sorry for the loss of Scooter, may this tragic loss be a reminder to others about summer heat.

Kathleen  08/02/2011 1:52 pm

Very sad……But veryyyyyyyy stupid. How could you even load a bird in a car
in this heat. I would not even take him anywhere. I have three birds, all I moved
next to my living room window and I think everyday, are they too hot? I make sure
they are a ways away from the window and I put a light blanket in the corners of
there cage to make a shade area. If you know it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them.
I feel so sorry for Shooter, He did not deserve that.

Moiraz  08/02/2011 2:00 pm

The only time a bird has been in my car is when I am taking it to a vet. I don’t stop anywhere else on the way there or home. I can always go out after.

Kerry  08/02/2011 2:01 pm

Dear Lorna,
I am sorry for your loss. Please be assured that birdies get to heaven! The pain will last a long time but please consider getting another parrot. There are so many that need someone’s love. There are risks for including our parrots in our daily lives but the interaction, socializing and learning do make them happier. We take our parrot out on our sailboat (with a foot leash/safetyline hooked on to the boat) . He also sits in trees and talks to the wild birds: “Hello” “Step up!” .
He is not our first bird and I wondered if it was right to become a parrot parent again. He tells me “I love you! You’re my sweetieheart!” I am so happy he is my son.

Grace  08/02/2011 2:13 pm

My birds are like my children. I would never leave them in a car in the hot summer. I know how hot it gets in a car so very quickly. It’s a shame the poor bird was left behind.

Nabeel  08/02/2011 2:49 pm

Hi, I’m a constant reader of bird tricks blogs but have not bought any products of Chet yet. However I emailed the team to post this story of my bird that passed away about 10 months ago but I don’t think they did. I had a beautiful 8 month old Indian Ringneck when it suddenly died because of another cause many bird owners don’t know about, well at least I didn’t at the time. My mom bought a a brand new non stick pan to cook with while the bird was in his cage eating. When my mom cooked on it, the bird instantly fell to the bottom of his cage and had a seizure, my mom took him to the vet but died 5 minutes later. Note that it was only her and the bird at the time. After some research, I realized that TEFLON coating kills birds by the smell that we don’t catch but birds do. Teflon comes in many names such as PTFE and others but is on all non stick coating pans, they will kill your bird instantly as other bird owners shared the same fate as mine. Buy green pan, iron or stainless steel cooking ware to save your bird’s life. I hope the bird tricks team makes this post open to the public so that everyone doesn’t loose their pet. Now I have a 7 month old Yellow nape amazon and we very careful with everything now.

Janet Wooley  08/02/2011 3:55 pm

I am so sorry to hear this story-we all are so busy all the time that no matter there are times we just forget things that are not in the norm of our day. I don’t even like to take my birds outside in summer or winter; only spring and fall, and then only with heat permits. Living in Houston Texas is VERY hot and humid and you can’t drive out of your own drive way without AC!! I am crying for this loss of your friend/baby but you do have to go on and please don’t let this keep you from having another parrot in your life!!! I have lost/passed away parrots/birds in my life of 56 years and no matter the reason-even old age- it is devastating to say the least but I would never stay without that companionship again!!!! You have already been forgiven so forgive yourself now.

Patricia Jessup  08/02/2011 4:08 pm

What a heartbreaking,needless waste of a precious pet’s life.In this case,I have to agree with
Mike and Cookie – it is onconceivable that this bird’s owner should have left it in a locked
car in the searing heat for all that time. What on earth possesseded her to do such a thing?
Accidents do happen ,yes with all too often tragic consequences,but what a price to pay for
such a foolish oversight..Sad for those responsible, but I hate to think what poor Shooter must
have suffered.

Kate  08/02/2011 5:00 pm

I could NEVER,EVER do that. How some people can forget things is normal but an animal or child…NO! I’ve nver even left my lunch in the car and went into work…dear God!

anitha  08/02/2011 5:38 pm

Oh my gosh!! had similar incident last sunday..but just got lucky. I took my babies..GCC to clip wings. while returning..was so stupid left them in the car 90degree outside with windows rolled down as they were in travel cage came back in10 minutes..they were in one corner with their mouth open and tongue sticking out and wiggling like suffocating to breathe..very scary and i realized what i did and immediately pulled out the water bottle and opened the cage and turned up the AC and fed them water..they drank like crazy and and in one minute turned normal..will never ever do that stupid mistake again. that was a blessing they revived.

Katherine  08/02/2011 5:49 pm

Lost my Quacker Parakeet today…He was sick when I got him but hopefully he had 9 months of a wonderful life with my other 8 birds…This is a long story short…Plus my heart goes out to “the Birdman” who kept his beak trimmed every so often…I love my birds…all rehomed…PEACE

lisa  08/02/2011 5:53 pm

I love how the article was written to divert attention away from what really happened and who screwed up. “It was then that they realized what had happened, Lorna had gone to her job and her mother to hers without realizing that the bird was still in the car.” Um….NO..what happened was the owner put him in her mother’s car, and didn’t take the bird out when she was dropped off at work!!! That bird was HER responsibility!

Barbara DelGiudice  08/02/2011 6:25 pm

This is so sad to read. What a sad mix up the mother and daughter had that day. Poor bird must have suffered terribly in that heat. And they wouldn’t have let that happen to him if there hadn’t been such a sad mix up of circumstances. This is so sad. I will pray for the family that lost Shooter. And pray this does not happen to any other bird, animal or human.

Barbara DelGiudice  08/02/2011 6:27 pm

But how did the lady forget her bird? This is what is puzzling to me.

Robyn  08/02/2011 6:53 pm

My heart goes out to Shooters family. You obviously loved Shooter very much to want to take him to work to be with you. Unfortunately these sort of things happen all too frequently and as hard as the lesson is it is important to learn from it. Thankyou for sharing the story as I hope that others will learn from it as well.
To the other people who have been unsympathetic – where is your humanity and empathy? Tragedies happen especially in today’s society where we are always on the go and unfortunately mistakes happen. Shooters family didn’t plan for him to die. It was an accident, and a very costly one. One that they will never forget and possibly never forgive themselves for. How about cutting them a break?
I am just as upset about reading this story as you are but let’s spread the word and teach others how to look after their birds so these tragic circumstances don’t reoccur, PLEASE!

Dianne M  08/02/2011 6:59 pm

I remember the exact same story as this happening with a child, it featured on a television show some time ago. The father was meant to drop the child of to daycare on his way to work, which was something that the mother usually did, once he got the freeway he just got into his normal routine of going to work and forgot he had the child in the car. Yes, the child died also. It wasn’t realized until late that afternoon when someone walked past the car. We all lead busy lives and get caught up in our usual routines, but it is sad stories like these that make us think when we put our children and our pets into our cars. I would like to thank you for publishing the story on Shooter, by letting people know how easily mistakes can be made you have probably saved the lives of many pets and children. I would also like to thank you for all the stories that you publish, I have two birds, an Indian ring-neck that can talk unbelievably and a 12month old Alexandrine. I have used a lot of the information that you have given to ensure their safety and care.

Dean Oswell  08/02/2011 7:36 pm

I think many have lost the plot; so to speak!
The point was not “I seek sympathy” , or whatever – : the writer was sharing this, no doubt feeling awful..BUT sought that in-so-sharing..Others NOT err in this respect.. No one seemed to ‘get it’.

Nicola  08/02/2011 8:20 pm

In Australia A man did this wth his baby. He was distressed about work and forgot to take the baby to childcare. He went to work and the baby died. It was a complete accident, not neglect. I hope Shooter died very fast.

Karen  08/02/2011 8:36 pm

I don’t understnd that Shooter’s qwner did not realize her mistake. Even if she was busy at the start of her day, at some point didn’t she think of Shooter? After all, there must have been a reason she needed to take him to work that day. If this was routine, his absence would have been more obvious. I feel somehow we are not getting the whole story. Is it possible she was not allowed to bring him in and chose, unfortunately, to leave him in the car? By the way, don’t expect restaurants to allow you to bring pets inside, even in carriers, as it is illegal in most states, if not all.

Robyn Little  08/02/2011 8:43 pm

I just wanted to let people know that there are many dangers around the house as well. Just to name a few- other pets in the house ( including other unfamiliar birds), strings hanging off curtains or toys / rope perches, cooking with a bird loose in the house, using sprays etc in the birds space / area, other things that may cause the bird stress. The reason I bring it up is because I lost my IRN over a year ago and I can’t forget her. Honey played with our Border Collie and they played well together as Keisha was very gentle with Honey – both wanting someone to play with and they found each others company exciting and stimulating. Playing with the ball being their favourite game. This particular day our routine had changed and instead of my son giving the dog a chewy raw hide, I gave it to her. Because I gave it to gee, she saved it till the end of the day when I was home to eat it. I didn’t know this at the time and she found a quiet place under the table to eat it. Honey went looking for Keisha and found her under the table. As she approached Keisha growled angrily at her. This scared Honey immensely as she had never heard Keisha growl quite like that before and whether it was stress or a heart attack or she bumped her head on the chair leg, Honey died almost instantly. It still makes me upset when I remember it but hopefully this will help others to be more cautious with their animals. And just for the record, Keisha didn’t bite Honey, as they didn’t get close enough and I witnessed the incident. As a result, my whole family was devastated including Honey’s bird companion (an Alexandrine) and Keisha who had lost a playmate.

junior  08/02/2011 9:18 pm

@james seller, since u so smart and know a lot bout birds you should open ur own business see how well you do, I believe chet knows a lot and thanks to him I have learn a lot, how many people have u help?

Stephanie Couch  08/03/2011 8:05 am

I’m sorry, I don’t get why some people NEED too take their pet everywhere. The ONLY time the are in the car w/ me is vet/groomer trips….I have seen dogs that have jumped out the window after something, pets in a car looking miserable while owner is getting a mani/pedi. Downtown festivals in the middle of summer, hot , crowded, on blacktop, with the poor dogs walking around where u also run the risk of biting someone who doesn’t know better….Keep your animals at home!!!!!!!!

Angela Bassett-Rarig  08/03/2011 2:47 pm

georgia kula, i do the same thing…..and we have central air going out there too, but sitll constantly monitor the temp

Dawn  08/03/2011 4:06 pm

Our birds stay at home where they belong. If someone wants to see our beautiful birds they can come to the house. Same goes for ALL of our pets. 3 birds, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 ducks. ALL well fed & loved. Even if we were inclined to take a pet for a ride, NOT in this heat!

jacob  08/03/2011 4:24 pm

losing a pet is very sad,especially wheb it`s your fault that poor animal died.People should be carefull and not make foolish and remorsefull and regrettable mistakes like this unless they know there going to see their beloved pet in heaven someday.

MARY  08/03/2011 8:34 pm

i lost my oliver ,not the same way ,but i guess iresponsibility for al of 5-8 minutes…but it was the most horrible feeling to live with when you know it could have been unavoidable ..i lost ollie in febuary ..i was busy on the phone and in 9 minutes ,,well what happened happened ,i never stop watching his videos i still cry over my stupidity ,i can not forgive my self for being selfish at that time..so please don’t give me a hard time .i wish he were here and it was like loosing my baby ..i can hardly type aout it …i am and will always be devasted ,he was like loosing a child ,he was 3 yrs old…and i’m so sorry .. i have 3 dogs and a parrolette,but the hole for ollie is still and will always be there i watch his videos all the time ..he’s on you tube i was a new bird owner at the time .but him and i were best friends ,you can waych and see,just don’t get on my case ok i’m on my case enough

Peter  08/03/2011 8:36 pm

People seem to be getting hung up on whether it’s worse to lose a child or a pet. Surely the issue is abusive behaviour, rather than who or what it’s directed at. So far as my understanding goes, abusing domestic pets, abusing animals in the slaughterhouse and abusing human beings of any age are all symptomatic of a society in which newspapers can report events from soaps as if they had happened in reality. Being unhinged from reality is a serious problem which seems to affect the majority of the population – here in the UK, at least. I see parents walking along the road with their children, but taking no notice of them, preferring to have long conversations on their mobile phones instead. Viewing television, rather than communicating as a family, is the norm and completely socially acceptable as a major leisure occupation, children often being told to keep quiet … or leave the room – unattended, of course.

It’s easy to shout blame at individuals for their negligence, but blame doesn’t help change people. If anything, it entrenches the “blameworthy” defensively in their attitudes, and thereby inhibits change for the better. Isn’t there a biblical quote about someone “casting the first stone”? Certainly, abusive treatment of animals needs to be controlled, along with abusive treatment of human beings. The question is: where do people want the control exercised and where do people think its limitations should be defined? My personal choice is to avoid eating animal flesh, and I’d encourage anyone else who was thinking of doing likewise, for reasons of both ethics and health. But if I were to denounce everyone I come across who eats meat and fish etc, I’d probably find myself completely ostracised by all my acquaintances. I utterly deplore modern methods of intensive meat production, but to remain influencial in helping people to develop, I have to be a member of society, not a self-appointed judge.

According to my understanding, which derives partly from working with adolescents who have been excluded from school, unconditional acceptance of the person, but not their behaviour, is the first step to effective communication and support. Only when people feel loved are we able to relax our guard enough to develop. We may feel the love from other human beings, from animals, from God, from the universe or any combination of these and others, but it is through self-respect – self-love, if you like – that we grow, and this comes from the affirmation we feel from others. As our self-respect develops and thrives, our respect for others does likewise, and with respect (I don’t mean deference or fear) comes caring and nurturing. By all means, abhor abuse and negligence, but the answer is to be a light, not a judge.

Trish  08/03/2011 9:28 pm

What a horrible thing for owner and bird.My heart goes out to you,no metter how it happened.To all that say “Keep your pets at home”,I say I am sorry for your pets.Just like my kids ,my animals are a part of my family,and just like them I arrange things to entertain them.We have 2 pet stores in the area that let your bring your pets in and all the workers know my pets and kids by sight.We take our parrot Emma in and she loves it when people pet her and talk to her.My Sheltie also loves to go and walks around with Emma on her back.How boring it would be to be stuck home all the time and never see new things and new people.I am VERY careful with my babies while we are out having adventures,and of course only plan places to go that I know they can go in,not sit in a hot Or cold car.God Bless and happy adventures to you all!!

SunnyRainbowHeart  08/04/2011 10:23 am

Stashing your bird under the table at meal time is cute??? NO! It’s a scenario courting tragedy. Two people posted that they do that.

Whether at home or at a restaurant, this is subjecting them to a possible death by trampling!!! In a restaurant the waiter could come to the table and move a chair to be better able to serve the patrons and the Bird will be smashed. People at home sitting at the dinner table could suddenly hear the phone or some sort of noise outside–the scenarios are endless–and rush to get up, forgetting about the bird in their excitement, and the chair could mangle or kill the bird.

THINK, people! THINK!

sarah askew  08/05/2011 10:16 am

We would not leave our cockateil when we had a cyclone but insisted that she come with us we were not going to go to safety and leave her behind she is so precious one of the family

Doonwati  08/05/2011 6:32 pm

Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a stroller for my parrot? My email address is aquadarling@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Maddie Wingett  08/06/2011 11:01 am

Such a sad story..Heartbreaking.
Makes us all sit up and pay attention and learn from other’s expereinces..
Can’t even imagine how the bird suffered!!!!

Luis  08/08/2011 1:19 am

Please don’t buy pets and don’t have children

DT  08/13/2011 8:03 pm

Wow, I really hope nothing like this happens to any of you. You all sound extremely harsh, judgmental, and heartless. Accidents happen, we get side-tracked in our busy lives. There’s no mistaking that things like this happen every day. The school teacher who’s routine is changed for a day and forgets her baby in the back seat, the busy father who usually doesn’t take the kids to school, but forgets the one day out of 365 that the sleeping toddler is in the back, the police officer who, tired from a 3rd shift, forgets his sleeping dog in the back seat. I think it took a lot of courage for this person to tell their story and I can see why – all the harsh criticism. You know what – it will happen to you one day. You will feel like this person, you’ll never be able to forgive yourself and when you reach out for help, everyone will turn away from you.

MeMiri  08/22/2011 12:15 am

I have seen parents who have forgotten their children in a bank because they forgot that they brought the child with them. Yes it is hearbreaking but it happens because people are to preoccupied with other things that appear to be more important.