During the first week in January, the PAWS Wildlife Center admitted two new patients that had something in common- they had both been deceived by a trick of light. The first patient was a Red-breasted Sapsucker from Bothell, WA who arrived on January 2. Likely seeing a reflection and believing he was flying toward the trunk of a tree, the bird had instead collided hard with a window and suffered a broken wing.
The second patient, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, arrived on January 6. After flying headfirst into a window pane, the hawk was found sitting stunned in the nearby bushes.
As of this writing, the hawk was bright and alert, but she was awaiting X-rays to determine the cause of her drooping wings. As eye injuries are common with window collisions, especially in larger-eyed birds of prey, the hawk was examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Fortunately, both of her eyes appeared to be undamaged.
As these two birds, and dozens of others that PAWS will receive this year demonstrate, windows can pose an extreme hazard to our feathered neighbors. If you would like more information on avoding bird window strikes on your property, please visit the Common Problems page in the wildlife section of the PAWS website.