Back to Wildlife Info
Birds and Windows
We’ve all had it happen -- birds crash headfirst into plate glass windows. Who knows why they do it -- maybe they think that our windows are open flying space or perhaps they see their own reflections and go on the offensive. Sometimes the birds perish; sometimes they're lucky and they fly off right away. But other times, the birds are stunned and they fall helpless onto the ground or deck.
At the West Sound Wildlife Shelter, we get dozens of calls every year from people who’ve found stunned birds and aren’t sure what to do.
The good news is that there are steps you can take! By following these simple procedures, you can save a stunned bird from being eaten by predators while it’s recovering. Please note that if you follow these steps and the bird does not revive, it’s important that you call us (206.855.9057 x1).
First, find a box with a lid that has holes in a top. In the bottom of the box, place a dry washcloth or dish towel (something to keep the bird’s feet from sliding around). Take the box outside and locate the bird. Then, using a hand towel or pillowcase, pick it up gently and put it in the box. The greatest danger to a stunned bird is its vulnerability – an immobilized bird makes easy prey for cats and wild predators. Take the box inside and place it somewhere dark, quiet, and warm, such as a bathroom or closet. Darkness will help the bird calm down, lower its heart rate, and help it recover more quickly.
In an hour or two, check on the bird. Take the box outside and open it up. Be sure not to open the box inside, since the bird may fly right out. If the bird flies away when you open the box, it’s recovered and ready to return to the wild. Congratulations! You can be pleased with the knowledge that you helped a bird recover from this traumatic incident. If the bird doesn’t fly or appear healthy, please call us at 206.855.9057 x1.
How to Avoid Window Strikes
You can keep birds away from your windows by hanging wind chimes or wind socks near the glass. The noise and fluttering motion will deter the birds from coming near that part of your house.
Window decals can also alert birds to the presence of solid glass.
Whispering Pines Window Decals are available for sale on our website (a pack of eight decals is $9). The decals come in a variety of themes (see image at right) including birds, butterflies, chickadees, and colorful holiday decorations.