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May 8, 2009

Avoid bird, window collisions with these simple tips from DNR

Ornithologists estimate that up to 100 million birds are killed each year by collisions with windows. These collisions usually involve small songbirds, such as finches, that may fall unnoticed to the ground. Sometimes the birds are merely stunned and recover in a few moments. Often, though, window hits lead to severe internal injuries and death.

It's thought that birds hit windows because they see the landscape reflected on the glass surface, but do not realize that a hard, transparent surface lies between them and that apparent open space. Panicking birds, fleeing for cover to escape predators, are even more likely to fly into windows.

"If you find a bird dazed from a window hit, place it in a dark container with a lid such as a shoebox, and leave it somewhere warm and quiet, out of reach of pets and other predators," said Laurel Barnhill, bird conservation coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "If the weather is extremely cold, you may need to take it inside. Do not try to give it food and water, and resist handling it as much as possible. The darkness will calm the bird while it revives, which should occur within a few minutes, unless it is seriously injured. Release it outside as soon as it appears awake and alert. If the bird doesn't recover in a couple of hours, you should take it to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator. Remember it is illegal to keep a migratory bird without a permit."

Some ideas to make your windows safer:

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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