Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Calling all birders!

This morning I was about to fly out the door to work when I heard a thud at the front window and looked over to see three tiny downy feathers tumble to the ground. My heart sank. I love the big window at the front of our house (as do my too numerous house plants), but they cause problems for the birds.

I ran out the door (wearing Dave's shoes) and quickly found the poor little guy, and picked him up off the ground. He didn't look hurt, only stunned. I fanned out his wings and checked his feet and tail but he seemed alright, just stunned by the whole experience (which, really, who wouldn't be!?)

I could hear both cats chattering at the window. I think they were chanting "awesome! no more kibble for us!" but I didn't oblige, even though Scarlett has brought me a mouse on other occasions and it was probably my turn to repay the favour in her eyes.

I called animal control but they said just to leave him in a safe spot and he'd fly away when the shock wore off.

I sat with him a bit longer, stroking his tiny wings. He had sand in his eye from hitting the dirt which I gingerly tried to brush away.

Finally, when I couldn't stay with him any longer and had to head out to work so I snapped a couple of pictures (when am I ever going to be this close to such a beautiful little creature?) and placed him on a cedar bush in the garden so he could recover safely out of the way of neighbourhood cats.

When I got home tonight he wasn't there (and believe me I checked the garden thoroughly to make sure he hadn't just fallen in among the bushes) so hopefully he recovered from the run-in and flew away.

I spent lots of time birding with my dad when I was a kid, but am by no means an expert. I've pulled out my good old Peterson Field Guide, and think it's a Golden-Crowned Kinglet but am not sure because I didn't notice him having two wing bars. I've seen its cousin the ruby-crowned kinglet before but not the golden crowned. I didn't even notice the orangey-crimson stripe between the yellow on his head until he started to feel a bit better.

(Any birders stopping by are welcome to leave a comment correcting my species identification.)


ElaineMI said...

Hi Heather

Think you're right on the golden crowned kinglet. Looks like it's a female because of the yellow stripe on it's head. The males have an orange stripe.

Part of the problem you might be having with the birds flying into your window is because of the plants. They may think it's part of the outside world.

Elaine said...

Birds think that they can fly through glass period (because it reflects the sky), unless it has a non-reflective coating, regardless if there are plants in the windows.

Glad you were able to recover him before work! Poor little fellow! Time for a few spider web decals?

Heather said...

There are no plants in the window, so (my sister the 2nd) Elaine's right. I might be getting CDs to hang in the windows, or a hawk shadow, or maybe even the spider decals... we'll see. Birds do see window as sky.

The little guy was so beautiful. I'm so glad he wasn't hurt and actually kinda (nerdily) touched to be so close to such a pretty little thing.

ElaineMI said...

ok...misread your comment about your numerous houseplants loving your window.

You might want to try hanging, oh, I'm not sure what you call them...it's like chimes but it has little mirrors hanging down instead of the pipes. Might just be enough to catch their attention and maybe make them think they don't want to check it out. It's worth a try.