O2017-26

Dear Cathy Cockatiel: A wild bird flew into my window and fell to the ground, alive but not moving. What should I do? How can I prevent this in the future?

Cathy Responds: Place the bird somewhere safe and warm, where other animals can’t get at it. Then consult Animal Help Now to find the right people to provide care.

Animal Help Now is a non-profit organization that connects people experiencing wildlife emergencies with the right services, depending on the species, location and other needs. AHNow also offers education and other resources on their website (www.AHNow.org) and free phone app.

Experts estimate that approximately one billion birds die every year by flying into windows that appear transparent – and therefore invisible – to them. Half of all household window strikes result in death, as stunned birds often fly away but die elsewhere of internal injuries.

You can help prevent these tragedies:

  • Apply properly-spaced vertical or horizontal lines to the outside of your windows. Consider Acopian BirdSavers or one of the homemade options described on their website, www.birdsavers.com.
  • Add one-way window film to the exterior surface of the glass. You’ll find many options at www.collidescape.org.
  • Even a screen or net outside the window reduces reflection and cushions any impact that may occur.
  • Move houseplants away from windows so birds don’t try to fly through the window to perch on them.
  • Close blinds and curtains when possible.
  • Bird feeders near the home should be placed within 1.5 feet of the window, so any bird that flies from the feeder toward a window can’t build up enough momentum to get seriously hurt.
  • For additional ideas, visit www.AHNow.org and click on Resources.