Fine Feathered Friends
Last week, this tiny little finch had the misfortune of flying into our kitchen window. Fortunately she was only a little stunned and after 20 minutes was able to regain her composure and fly away.
Topics | Animals/Birds
Unfortunately, each spring hundreds of birds are killed or injured flying into windows. Would you know what to do if you found an injured bird?
I spoke with Birding Guide, Christine Tarski, to get some answers on what we should do if we find an injured bird.
What should you do if a bird hits your window?
If it is stunned, you should probably move the bird so that it is not
in danger from dogs, cats, squirrels, etc. If it is hot, you can put in
the shade, opposite if it's cold. Put it out of the wind. It's best to
wear gloves when handling the bird since it could have mites. A
shallow dish of water near the bird in case it needs a drink before
flying off is good. But basically, just leave the bird for a half hour or
so and watch to see how it is doing.
Will the bird be ok if human hands have touched it?
Most birds have a very poor sense of smell (an exception are the
Vultures) so they will not know that you touched their baby. Even
if they see you touch their youngster, it is okay. Parents can
always take care of their chicks better than any human.
If the bird is seriously injured what should you do?
If the neck is broken, most likely the bird has died or is dying. If
the bird is still alive, carefully slide a piece of cardboard under it, to
support its neck and spine, and gently place it in a warm dark
area. Darkness will help calm the dying bird.
If the wing or leg is broken, you need to find someone to treat the
bird. Not all vets will do this - call your vet ahead of time. If you
can not get hold of a vet who will treat the bird, look for a wildlife rehabilitator, one that raises orphaned animals and birds as well is trained to nurse ill ones. The rehab listing is by state and province. Find one near
you and give them a call. They'll be able to tell you what to do. In
the United States, it is illegal to keep a wild bird so be sure to get
the bird to a vet or rehabber.
It is very common for birds to fly into windows. You can help prevent this by following the tips in this handy How To Guide.
Want to learn more about wild birds and birding? Be sure to visit Christine at Birding at About.