Any waste food that we think birds will eat is always put out for them. In winter we supplement this with fat-balls and seed. The cats are never allowed out while the birds are feeding. We always check for, and scare off, any birds in the garden before we let the cats out.
The week before last Jane found Ephie and Frasier sitting in the garden, looking at something in between them. A closer inspection revealed it to be a sparrow. It was lying still, waiting for the end. Jane rescued it. Since then the bird has lived in our bathroom, getting stronger and regaining the use of its legs and its wings.
This morning it was hopping around quite happily, though it still couldn't fly very well. While Jane was caring for it, changing its food and water, it escaped; taking refuge in the boxing around the pipes. As we couldn't reach the bird we left it, hoping it would come out for food later. Indeed, in the afternoon it was sitting in the gap where it had entered the boxing. We hoped to block off the hole while it was feeding and checked regularly to see where it was. About nine o'clock Jane checked and couldn't hear any noise from the bird. Crouching down she discovered that it had managed to squeeze between the piping and not get out. Heaven knows how it managed this, or why it did it, but the sad fact is that the constriction of the pipes stopped it breathing and it died.
Sometimes, you just can't win.