Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Deadly Windows


I wonder how often you think about your windows and skylights and the bird traps they can be.

Yesterday the Captain was doing some jobs in his workshop. He had the regular door and the garage door to that building wide open as he was going in and out a lot. After he’d been in the house for a bite of lunch, he went back out to the workshop and saw this little nuthatch flying against the workshop window, trying to get out.

The nuthatch had come into the shop and then, fooled by the light, thought he could get out through the window. He kept flying at the pane of glass, trying in vain to escape, even though the door and the garage door were both still wide open. All he saw was the window and he couldn’t get through it.

The Captain used a soft trout fishing net to capture him and bring him outside. I noticed that his beak had a lot of spider webs on it. The Captain acknowledged that his workshop window is a bit cobwebby.

Luckily the nuthatch was only a bit stunned, and not seriously hurt. He sat in the Captain’s hand for a few extra seconds after I took the picture and then he flew away. I think he was one happy bird!

Do you have a skylight in a breezeway or in the covered entrance to your house? Check it for trapped birds.

If you hang a basket of flowers there, especially pink ones, you’ll kill countless hummingbirds. Even without the flowers to attract them, hummingbirds can fly in and then not realize that the sky above them is blocked off with a glass pane. They will try and try to fly up and out through that closed skylight, sometimes injuring themselves and exhausting themselves until they fall down and often times die.

This fellow is one of the two lucky ones that I helped rescue from a neighbour’s skylight.

It also reminded me that I should have kept my hummingbird feeder up especially in this colder weather. We have had hummingbirds overwinter here on Vancouver Island in the last several years, so it helps to supplement their diet when their natural food is scarce.

Flying up into the sky,

I was stopped and don’t know why,

Up I flew repeatedly,

But it soon defeated me.

I was panicked, I was tired,

Minutes more, I’d be expired.

Holding on for life so dear,

I saw Anneli coming near.

Up the ladder she did climb,

Capturing me from behind

Softly she held onto me,

Wobbling down so carefully.

Dark and warm and safe I was

Then she let me go to buzz,

Back to my own territory,

Now she’ll tell the world my story.

Please beware the window pane

Skylights fool us time and again.

Please don’t kill us with these traps

You don’t mean to kill perhaps.

But we birds are easily tricked

By the choice of panes you’ve picked.

Meanwhile we’ll be careful too

Knowing what these panes can do.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

48 thoughts on “Deadly Windows

  1. This is a very touching blog story. I love the pictures and the very nice poem to go with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m happy the bird is OK, Anneli! My skylight is indoor over the dining room table, no birds in here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww. That poor nuthatch looked stunned in the photo. So glad he shook it off. Thank you to the captain for saving him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate to see our little feathered friends getting injured. We’ve had some that will sit stunned for several minutes before flying off. I’m glad your little fella was okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, Jill. This is a hard time of year for the birds, with the weather, the big flocks staging and crashing into windows, and then the usual hazards like getting trapped behind windows. We save the ones we can, but yes, it’s always so nice to see them fly away.


  5. We only absolutely rarely have a bird trapped anywhere inside, but I’m always unhappy with the birds flying against our windows from the outside. Even with the blinds inside being closed they seem to think they can fly through. I don’t know what I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. I had an owl whack the window once and then sit on our walkway stunned for a few minutes. It had seen the porcelain cockatoo on a swing that I brought from Mexico. It was meant to be hung in a window, but that wasn’t a good idea, as we found out. The owl must have thought it was an easy lunch. I took the cockatoo down after that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What absolutely makes me wonder, as I said, that they even try to fly through the window when the blinds inside are closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a good reminder. I’m glad your little nuthatch survived with just a few spider webs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So happy that you were able to rescue him (and the hummingbird). I have always tried to make windows β€œvisible” to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have lots of windows at out house too. Most get knocked silly then fly away! Love the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great advice, Anneli. I feel so bad when those little guys slam into a window. 😦 And how interesting that hummingbirds are wintering over near you. I should pop up a hummingbird feeder just in case. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love nuthatches – lots of them here in NE – and this one is ‘saved by the Captain.’ Thank you for taking her photo – she looks quite comfy in the Captain’s hands. Every spring we have a cardinal tap on our kitchen window, thinking the reflection is a perfect mate-to-be. The poor guy whacks consistently on the window. I’ve put the curtains up to stop the reflection, which sometimes works. Interesting that this fellow (or his son, then grandson) comes and does the same trick every year. Hummingbirds visit us with such loving winging about every summer – May to end of September – but alas, they then fly away. No way they’d survive in this winter weather (plus the sugar water would freeze). You’re so lucky to get them year-round. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our sugar water froze for a few days last year and I had to keep bringing it in the house to thaw and warm it up. It was brutal on the birds for a few days during that cold snap. Your cardinal story reminds me of a robin that did the same thing on one of my neighbour’s windows. I think he thought he had competition.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. So glad to see there is a happy ending to this post. Amazing photos of the birds. If you let the windows get a little dirty and filmy, it helps to save the birds from flying into them. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it!!! Thanks for sharing, Anneli!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really liked your tribute to birds here, and the importance of keeping them safe from tricky windows. Great idea the Captain had for rescuing the nuthatch with a fishing net. And I l o v e d your fun poem, Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jet. We both care about birds a lot, so if we can rescue one, we feel good, especially if we have been partly to blame for the bird’s dilemma in the first place (and have undone our damage). I’m so glad you liked my poem. I sometimes wonder if they are just a bit too goofy, but they are meant to be a bit that way. Thanks for reading and for the kind comments. Enjoy your Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I could hardly bring myself to read the post, what with the bit of the thumbnail that showed on the preview… but whew! The wee birdie survived- I was so worried it hadn’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are a few who hit and don’t survive but I couldn’t make up a post about them. I only hope people become more aware of their windows being a hazard for birds and that they try to do what they can to prevent “hits” at the busiest times. Porch skylights are especially bad for hummingbirds.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a loving story of two birds .Your pictures are as alive as those birds .

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such remarkable photos! Thank goodness the bird was only stunned. Love your poem, Anneli!

    Liked by 1 person

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