What Can I Do to Help a Bird That Has Collided With a Window?

| 1/15/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: birds,

What can I do to help a bird that has collided with a window?

Here are some pointers for the times when birds have non-fatal window collisions:

1. It is important to remember that if a bird is stunned enough to end up on the ground, it can easily go into shock and die of hypothermia or be eaten by a predator while the bird is incapacitated. Many birds are able to fly off after window collisions, but if they are knocked out or stunned and on the ground they should be gently picked up and placed in a warm, dark, sheltered place for at least two hours. If the bird is bleeding or has any obviously major injuries, it should be taken immediately to a licensed bird rehabilitator.

2. Initially, it’s all right to pick up the bird with your bare hands. Cradle the bird to keep it warm, but don’t restrain it. Even if it begins to struggle, if it was stunned enough to be picked up it is unlikely to be alert enough to fend for itself, so it’s best to keep it sheltered for awhile.

3. To do this, it’s often best to put the bird in a small covered box, with a blanket or something soft in the bottom. If it’s cold outside, the box should be brought inside and put in an interior room, away from light, noise and pets. If it’s hot outside, the bird can actually overheat, so it’s still best to bring the box inside. The box should be loosely covered — perhaps with another towel or a piece of cardboard. In most instances, the bird will sleep for awhile, and after two hours or so will likely fly off when released, unless severely injured.

4. For this short period no food is necessary. A small bit of water in a shallow container is optional — make sure it cannot spill, and that the water is not deep enough for the bird to drown if it wakes up and ends up in the dish.

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