Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

Stunned but recovering
Stunned but recovering

These poor little birds…and they have mostly been small ones…hit the large windows of the house a lot.  I hear the unmistakable thud and run to where the sound came from.  There are big windows in the bedroom and living room and I can usually tell which one it comes from.  The birds are sometimes hard to spot from inside but I always check to see if any are on the ground.  Sometimes if I don’t see them, I go outside and walk carefully and slowly to see if I can spot them.  I’d say half the time they have already flown away which is a relief.  I have walked up and seen some on the ground but they get spooked and fly away.

But one day, a hummingbird hit and I saw it on the ground.  By the time I got out there it had died.  I held it’s still very warm little body in my hands and watched for it to breathe or move at all, which it didn’t.  I held it for quite a while until I realized I needed to bury it.  I put it under the big shady guava tree.  That was when I knew I had to find a solution.  The fastest thing to do was to use some CD ROM’s since they are very reflective so I put one in each window pane.   Actually, I hung a nice bird mural the last family had made in the bedroom window figuring that would be more of a deterrent.  For the next few days afterward, I didn’t hear as many hits so I think it is working.

However, I heard one hit again and saw that it was a hummingbird, so I went outside and was able to pick it up.  I couldn’t tell if it’s little neck was hurt or if a wing was broken, but I carefully cupped it in my hand and held it still for a while.

Poor little hummer
Poor little hummer

It seemed a little dizzy and its eyes were closing half way then opening back up.  After a few minutes it started becoming a little more alert and I laid my hand out flat for it to stand up.  It did, looked around, stood up a little straighter and then flew off!  Phew!

I did fail to put one CD in a window in the living room though and today, I heard it again.  Arrrrggghhhhh!!!  I looked out the window and saw a small bird, but not a hummingbird sitting on the rocks, wing partially stretched out.  That kills me because I think the wing might be broken.  It had some really pretty yellow feathers and was so cute and tiny.  I carefully picked it up and tried to assess the wing, which appeared to be ok.  I looked at the feet and those were fine.  It was cold outside so I gently cupped my hands around it to keep it warm and let it recover a little bit.  There was noise from the neighbors and the street so I started taking it to the back porch.  That’s when I heard a tiny ‘cheep’ and I wondered if it was a baby!?  It then promptly spit up a small seed.   In that case, we’ll go back to where you came from in case mom is looking for you.  I took it near the eucalyptus tree where there’s a vine growing out of a pot.  I stretched my hand out hoping it would hop onto the plant and it did!  It took a little leap and flew to the branch and stayed there looking around for a while before flying up into a tree nearby.  That’s the little bird at the top of the post.  So thankfully I think that one was ok too.

I have an order in for some bird decals to put on the windows to try and keep it from happening,  but until then the CD’s remain!  If any of you have suggestions for deterring birds from windows, please post them in the comments section!

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4 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

  1. sutcliff2013 August 25, 2013 / 6:15 am

    You are a good person and a really good writer!

  2. Paul G Pickering August 25, 2013 / 2:14 pm

    Hi Stephanie, this bird is the Paltry tyrannulet, previously called the Mistletoe tyrannulet because of its diet. You will see it regularly in the mistletoe in the guayabo trees. This is the first one that has hit our windows and I hope you will let me use your photograph for my own blog. Many thanks for your close concern for our feathered friends!

    Best wishes,

    Paul

    • StephieD August 25, 2013 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks for the ID on that, Paul. It’s my pleasure to keep everything alive over here…haha…I’ve never had the opportunity to handle birds like this before, so it’s good that I can help in this way. Of course you can use the photo!

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