Wednesday 18 March 2015

Birds and Windows

    Monday morning while I was painting (note the bit of green paint on my finger tip)  there was a loud thud on the window behind me.  I knew immediately what it was--a bird had planned to fly through the house, had suddenly come up against an unseen plate of glass from the window.  This is a pretty common occurrence, millions of birds die each year from collisions with glass.  I have had owls, hawks, grouse, hummingbirds, and a myriad of other fowl slam into our windows.
    Because this has happened so many times before, many years ago I strung up fine nylon netting across a lot of our windows, but over the years some of blown down and that is what happened to the window this bird had slammed into.  ( I have since re-strung it across the window.)
    As soon as I had heard the “thud” on the window, I walked out on the balcony to see if I could find the bird.  Because the thud was so loud, I was expecting to see the corpse of a bigger bird laying on the balcony floor.  I was surprised to see this small sparrow.  I am notoriously bad at identifying little brown birds, but I think this might be an American Tree Sparrow which was on his way north for the summer.  
    Often when the bird hits the glass, they are not killed, but merely stunned.  Fortunately, that is what happened in this case.  It was immobilized by the collision, but its eyes were open.  I picked it up took the photo and put it on the railing.  I wobbled a bit, and I steadied it and was going to leave it standing there until it came back to consciousness. 
    As I watched, the sparrow started to lose its balance again teetering to one side, then falling off of the railing.  During its free-fall it suddenly regained its wits, starting flapping its wings, and flew off.  Hopefully it has no longterm effects with its crash into the window.

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