As you enjoy your morning coffee and admire nature’s beauty through your window, an unexpected moment unfolds – a swift, delicate “hummingbird hit window” incident. The gentle collision startles you, evoking both concern for the bird and curiosity about these events.
Hummingbirds, those delightful and agile creatures, are known for their mesmerizing flights and vibrant colors. However, many of us have witnessed the unfortunate and puzzling phenomenon of a hummingbird hitting a window. Why does this happen, and what can we do to prevent it?
In this article, we’ll delve into the surprising reasons behind this behavior and uncover practical strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of these delightful avian visitors. So, let’s explore the world of hummingbirds and find out how we can make our windows safer havens for these magnificent creatures.
Types of Hummingbirds Prone to Window Collisions
Hummingbirds are known for their agile flight and ability to hover in mid-air. Unfortunately, these unique flying capabilities make them more susceptible to window collisions.
While all hummingbird species can potentially collide with windows, some are more prone than others. For example, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is commonly involved in window strikes due to its migratory nature and widespread distribution across North America.
Preventing Window Collisions for Hummingbirds
To prevent hummingbird-window collisions, it’s important to understand why they occur in the first place.
One reason is that windows reflect the surrounding environment like a mirror, creating an illusion of open space for birds. Additionally, transparent or highly reflective glass poses a greater risk as it fails to provide visual cues indicating the presence of a solid barrier.
Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to minimize bird-window collisions:
1. Install bird-friendly window treatments
Applying decals or UV-reflective stickers on windows can help break up reflections and reduce collision risks.
2. Hang visual deterrents
Placing objects such as wind chimes or colorful ribbons outside windows can create movement and alert hummingbirds about potential obstacles.
3. Use window screens or netting
Installing fine mesh screens or netting over windows can act as a physical barrier while still allowing air circulation.
4. Move feeders away from windows
By relocating your hummingbird feeders at least 10 feet away from any nearby windows, you decrease the chances of birds mistaking reflections for safe flight paths toward nectar sources.
5. Create distraction zones
Planting flowers near problem areas and providing supplementary food sources away from windows will divert hummingbirds’ attention elsewhere.
Characteristics of a Hummingbird that Hits the Window
When a hummingbird collides with a window, it can be distressing for both the bird and the observer. Understanding the behavior and characteristics of an affected hummingbird can help guide your actions in offering immediate assistance:
1. Dazed or stunned: A hummingbird that has collided with a window may appear disoriented, immobile, or exhibit erratic flight patterns immediately after impact.
2. Visible injuries: Look for signs of physical trauma such as broken feathers, bleeding, or difficulty breathing. Any obvious wounds should be addressed promptly to prevent infection.
3. Loss of consciousness: In severe cases, hummingbirds may lose consciousness temporarily due to head trauma from window collisions.
4. Wing drooping or inability to fly: The collision impact can result in wing sprains or fractures, making it difficult for birds to maintain their usual aerial maneuvers.
Immediate Steps to Take in Case of Collision
If you witness a hummingbird hitting your window, here are some immediate steps you can take to provide assistance:
1. Approach with care: Slowly approach the injured bird to avoid causing further stress or panic.
2. Gently pick up the bird: Use clean hands or gloves and carefully lift the hummer off the ground while supporting its body and wings gently but securely.
3. Place in a safe container: Transfer the bird into a small cardboard box with ventilation holes punched in it, lined with soft cloth or tissue paper at the bottom for comfort.
4. Keep warm and quiet: Find a quiet place indoors away from pets and children where the temperature remains stable; cover the container loosely with an old towel (not tightly) to create darkness and reduce stress levels.
As we immerse ourselves in the wonders of nature, it becomes essential to strike a balance between appreciating the beauty of wildlife and safeguarding their habitats.
By caring for the safety of hummingbirds and other wildlife, we contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and the delicate ecosystems they inhabit.
Next time we witness a hummingbird approaching our windows, let us be reminded of our role as responsible custodians of nature and take action to protect these tiny marvels.
FAQs on hummingbird hit window
Q: Why do hummingbirds hit windows?
A: Hummingbirds hit windows because they perceive them as open space rather than a solid barrier. This can happen due to the reflection of the sky on the window or the proximity of plants and flowers inside the house.
Q: What happens to a hummingbird when it hits a window?
A: When a hummingbird hits a window, it can injure itself in various ways. It may experience head trauma, broken beak or wings, internal injuries, or fractures.
Q: What should I do if I find an injured hummingbird?
A: If you find an injured hummingbird, it is important to handle it with care. Use a cloth or glove to pick it up gently and place it in a well-ventilated box. Make sure to keep the box in a quiet and warm place.
Q: How can I help an injured hummingbird recover?
A: To help an injured hummingbird recover, you can offer it a mixture of sugar water and warm water (4 parts water to 1 part sugar). Make sure to clean the feeder and change the nectar every few days to prevent bacteria growth.
Q: Can I hold a hummingbird to feed it?
A: Hummingbirds have delicate and easily damaged wings, so it is not advisable to hold them in your hand. Instead, you can offer them a feeder or use an eyedropper to provide them with the sugar water mixture.
Q: What can I do to prevent hummingbirds from hitting windows?
A: You can prevent hummingbirds from hitting windows by placing decals, stickers, or suncatchers on the outside of the window. These objects create a visual barrier that helps the birds recognize the window as a solid surface.
Q: How long does it take for a hummingbird to recover from hitting a window?
A: The recovery time for a hummingbird depends on the severity of its injuries. Some hummingbirds may recover within a few hours, while others may need weeks or even months of care and rehabilitation.
Q: Should I take an injured hummingbird to a professional wildlife rehabilitator?
A: It is recommended to take an injured hummingbird to a professional wildlife rehabilitator immediately. They have the knowledge and resources to provide proper care and treatment for the bird.
Q: Can a hummingbird fly away after hitting a window?
A: In some cases, a hummingbird may be able to fly away after hitting a window if it doesn’t sustain serious injuries. However, it is always best to monitor the bird and provide necessary assistance if needed.
Q: What can I do to attract hummingbirds to my garden?
A: To attract hummingbirds to your garden, you can provide feeders filled with fresh nectar, plant native flowers that produce rich nectar, and create a welcoming habitat with perches and shelter.