This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on February 18, 2011 at the defunct national blog beautifulwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments and find working links to other stories.
I heard the thump. I opened the door to the welcome mat filled will the most unwelcoming pile of feathers and my heart sank. Based on the small size of the feathers and the coloring, I started poking around the patio for the remains of a brown-headed nuthatch. Very upset, I searched but found nothing. My thoughts were for the other bird…would they be without a mate? They have been working so diligently at the Pine snag forming numerous holes and I had just seen them bringing in nesting materials to fill one of those holes. The next morning I heard a familiar squeak, but only saw one of the two.
Bird can run into windows, often when they see through to the other side such as when there are windows that align on both sides of a home. Reflection of habitat is another cause of collision, as is being startled.
Audubon offers many solutions and outlines the effectiveness of each toward Minimizing Window Collisions, including feeder
placement and use of drapes, decals and similar window add-ons.
Cornell offers tips on what to do if you find a victim of a window collision. If it is obviously injured, get it to a rehab facility. Today would be a good day to look up where the nearest facility is in your area so you are ready in case of tragedy. If the bird is just stunned, place it in a covered shoebox and leave it alone for 15 minutes. Darkness helps calm birds. If it is extremely cold, take it inside. After the 15 minutes, take the box outside and remove the lid. If the bird flies off…GREAT. If not, cover it and try again in another 15 minutes or so. If you are still without success, take it to a rehabilitation hospital.