Wednesday, November 2, 2011

black-throated gray warbler ~ 11/02/11 ~ at home

Dendroica nigrescens

As I was getting ready to prepare dinner this evening, I heard a dull "thwack!" I ran into the living room and noticed a puff of feathers on one of the windows. This is the third time it's happened in as many years we've had our new double-paned, coated windows. The first two times the birds have flown away almost immediately. I ran outside to find this fellow on our balcony. I panicked, picked him up, and tucked him into my shirt like a basket to keep him warm. He was surprisingly soft, warm, and so tiny. I remembered several bloggers mentioning birds flying headlong into their windows, so I jumped online to see what, if anything, needed to be done. The only one I could remember was Wanderin' Weeta's recent hermit thrush encounter. I waited like she did. He quickly became cold and stiff. This poor fellow did not survive. And, like Susannah, I'd rather have birds in the bush than one in the hand. I'm sad about this.

ps 11/07/11 - I placed this bird's body behind a rock in the park below us. I checked the site today. Something came along and took it. Only a few wing feathers remained behind. Nature's recycling?

pss 12/26/11 - For an "official" blog posting on how to prevent collisions like this one, see Audublog.


Cindy said...

oh, small birds are so active and delicate, it is surprising they stick their bird neck out into this complicated world and survive and sing about it. I'm sorry.

Murr Brewster said...

The last bird I saw fly into a window left a perfect smudge of wing feather imprints--primaries, secondaries, the whole works. It was depressing to look at and yet so fascinating I couldn't bring myself to clean it off.

My "captcha" word is "nestskin."

Bob Bushell said...

It seems to happen all the time, I have witnessed in loads and loads. It seems that, only the young birds that do it.

Imperfect and tense said...

Sad times. The concept of crystallised air has not caught on in the avian world. Putting up stickers or silhouettes on the window helps a little, but can never reduced the fatalities to zero. Larger birds must catch more of their own reflections and so stand a better chance or reacting in time (whilst leaving amazing wing prints), but the wee fellas just seem to fly into the next world :o(

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I have had many hit and run, or I was able to "rehabilitate" them so they can fly again another day. The truth is I know is that I really didn't have much to do with their making it. If they break their little necks or the concussion too great, nothing can be done. Fortunately I have had more survivors than deaths. Hopefully they get the message across to their little feathered friends "Steer clear of that big shiney thing".

Max-e said...

This has happened to me a few times over the years. Most times they have recovered.

The Mini vs Maxi Tour was a great success and the area gained a lot of publicity as a result.

This is a link to a video on the tour -

Katie (Nature ID) said...

I've never had anything warm-blooded actually die in my hands. It's a weird feeling.

Since birds see differently than us humans, I wonder if the UV protectant coating on our new windows has anything to do with the increased bird hits. I'm not sure I'll order those stickers; there seems to be mixed reviews about their effectiveness.

Bob, young birds, huh?

Murr, your latest post is way too funny! Interesting about your captcha being "nestskin" - sometimes I question how they're generated since they often seem appropriate.

Max, thanks for the link. I've been curious to know how your adventure ended.

Jennifer and Steve said...

sad too! we had many birds die on our windows at our house in indiana. we eventually strung up a netting in front of the worst windows. hope these feathered friends adapt to windows sooner than later.