Birds & Windows: How to Help

Birds vs. Windows

Every year an estimated 100 million birds die from collisions with windows. Windows reflect trees, surrounding sky and natural habitat.  Birds don’t see a barrier, but rather a continued flight path.  During migration season in early fall, window strikes are one of the most common injuries seen in birds. A high concentration of these injuries mean you may be more likely to come across a window struck bird in the fall, although it happens during any time of the year.

So what to do if a bird hits your window or you find a bird on the ground near windows?

If you see an obvious injury such as a broken wing or any bleeding, call your local wildlife rehabber immediately for assistance. Our contact information can be found here.

If you do not see any obvious injuries yet the bird is not flying away, it is may be stunned. Birds that are stunned don’t move for a short period of time while they recover from the impact. Allow the bird a few minutes to recover on its own, after this short period the bird should be able to fly away on its own.

If the bird does not fly away after a few minutes, prepare a box (such as a shoe box or small container) with a soft cloth lining. Try to avoid towels as loops in the fabric can get caught on the bird’s feet which can lead to stress and possibly death. Poke a few holes for ventilation and prepare a lid – this can be fabric covering the box or a shoe box lid.

Carefully pick up the bird, being conscious to avoid restraining it. Place the bird in the box and cover. Find a safe area of your home that is quiet, dark and secure (from pets and children) for the bird to recover. Let the bird rest in this area, do not try to give food or water as the bird needs time to recover free from stimuli.

After an hour or two, the bird should have had enough time to recover. Bring the box outside and walk a good distance away from your home or other structures. Carefully open the lid to allow the bird to fly away. It may need some assistance to take off, but do not pick up the bird and drop it thinking it will fly away.

If the bird is still conscious but cannot fly away contact your local wildlife rehabber for further instruction. Window strikes can cause many different injuries, not all of which are visible to the naked eye.

Keep in mind the bird will receive the best care from experienced wildlife rehabbers, including proper diet and medications.

For more information on what you can do to prevent window strikes visit the links below: