wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.


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Pane Pain

The birds know that summer is over and it is time to go south. They don’t like to be too cold anymore than I do, and it’s hard to find food  if there is snow on the ground. Even cold rain doesn’t make it a hospitable environment for providing seeds and/or insects for birds to eat.

The air is fairly vibrating with birdsong, as the birds gather in ever growing flock numbers to eat like crazy and do little practice flights in preparation for the big trip  south.

Unfortunately, with so much activity many of the birds try to fly through my windows, thinking there is a flight path to the other side of the house. It breaks my heart and sometimes their necks or wings, when they hit. The guilt I feel is huge.

After hearing three thumps on my windows in a short space of time, I found a bar of soap and drew lines over the panes so the birds could see that there is a barrier in their flight path.

One little warbler type had hit a corner window just before I soaped it. He had a soft landing on a deck chair cushion. He stayed there for several hours. I worried and felt so bad for him as I watched his tiny traumatized wings quiver.

Then, apparently the time was right. He pooped and flew away. I hope he doesn’t have a bad headache. I’m so glad he survived.


42 Comments

Painful Panes

Today I watched as two little chickadees hit the glass pane in my deck railing. I found a candle and went outside to scribble wax all over the pane so the birds could see it better. I had thought the glass was dirty enough after all the storms so the birds could tell it was glass, but unfortunately they couldn’t. I felt just sick when one of the chickadees lay on his side and looked as if he would die shortly. His brother sat on the lower part of the railing waiting for him to come fly away with him. dscn7427

When I came outside with the candle, the chickadee who was not hit as hard flew away, but the other one stayed on the deck, lying on his side. After scribbling on the pane to prevent more casualties, I went over to the little bird. He let me pick him up. He sat in my hand and perked up a tiny bit. I thought maybe keeping him warm might help him recover. Maybe he wouldn’t die after all.

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He made a little mess on my hand but I didn’t mind. I just wanted him to live. I packed him around for about half an hour and he still didn’t want to fly. Sometimes he let his head droop and I worried that this was the end. I tucked my hand inside my vest with the cloth not touching him, so he would be warm and in the dark. Then I came in to continue writing the next chapter of my novel.

Back on the deck, I tried again to get him to fly away, but he seemed to want to cling to my finger. I paced the deck, wondering what to do. Finally I set him down in the place where his brother had waited for him. He sat there for another ten minutes. When I went to pick him up again, he chirped “Goodbye and thank you,” and off he flew. dscn7433

Maybe this winter when it’s really cold, he’ll come eat at the birdfeeder.

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