A Bird Has Hit My Window, What Can I Do?

windowstrikeWindow strikes can happen any time of the year, but particularly when birds are migrating during the spring and fall. We get a lot of calls about birds hitting windows. The caller may have seen the bird hit the window, or found a bird in the area of a window showing signs of a loss of balance or unable to fly and collision seems the most logical reason.

If you find a bird that you believe is a victim of a window strike and is not showing symptoms of swelling , drooping wings, or blood, which demands immediate attention by a wildlife rehabilitator, you should contain the bird in a box and place them in a safe quiet area for an hour. If the bird is just stunned it needs a stress free environment to recover. After an hour check on the bird.  You should hear fluttering inside. Take the bird to an open field or ravine area away from windows and buildings, open the box and let the bird fly away.  If the bird is still unresponsive after one hour keep him a quiet area. At this point head trauma is the most likely diagnosis,  a wildlife rehabilitator should be contacted right away for treatment.

window strike article

Prevention:

Window strikes devastate bird populations. “Ornithologists now claim that bird collisions with human-built structures is a leading cause of bird death across North America.” Birds only see the reflection of their habitat (trees, water, sky or the potted plant in your window) they cannot see the glass.

Bird attractants such as feeder, trees, bushes, flowers can attract birds to your yard. This can make them vulnerable of running the risk of colliding with reflective glass. There are techniques that can reduce the threat of collision that FLAP Canada recommends, Patterned window film, window curtain, perforated window film, window screen, and a special product called CollideEscape (link provided below.) Products such as Hawk Silhouettes, Single Window Decals, Noise Deterrents, Plastic Owls etc. do not work in deterring birds. For more information on how you can protect birds from window strikes please visit FLAP Canada. An organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about how to avoid window strikes and protect bird through migratory seasons by supplying science based information as well as working with business’ and the community.

Collidescape:

http://www.collidescape.org/

References:

http://www.flap.org/index.php

“Answering the call of the wild.” Published by Toronto Wildlife Centre

10 Comments

  • Lynn Perry says:

    I have an injured bird here I found trying to hop down my street not sure if it was hit by a car. Where can I take it to get help?

    • Paloma says:

      Hello Lynn;
      I am responding to a message regarding an injured bird. Please give me a call at 416-366-3527 to see what can be done for it. Cheers, Paloma

  • Paloma Plant says:

    Hi Kelli;

    I came across the article you posted regarding the prevention of window collisions. Thank you for that! You have pointed out the typical “quick-fix solutions” that people like to put up, and identified that they don’t work.
    I am sorry to hear you are having zoning issues – that seems to happen to so many rehabbers that I have lost count of those who have stopped taking in animals in desperate need of care.
    Have you managed to re-locate? I would be happy to post something on our social media page to see if there is anyone who can help in your area.
    Cheers,
    Paloma
    Program Coordinator
    FLAP Canada
    416-366-3527

  • Bev Molloy says:

    The homeopathic remedy Natrum Sulphuricum is amazing with head traumas! I use it all the time!

  • Deirdre says:

    We have an injured banded pigeon. He hit window at our office. Is there someone who can come and have a look at it? The left wing is drooping slightly. We have tried contacting Pigeon clubs with no luck

    thanks

  • Dave says:

    Thanks for the information, I’ll check out the collidescape website, looks promising!
    Thanks
    Dave

  • Deb says:

    I have an injured bird that hit our window. It’s not flying after about 4 hours. It’s just flapping.

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