Sunday, November 25, 2007

A post about birds


Sometimes birds look at windows and see the reflection of the sky. Which is unfortunate, because they then think they can fly through the glass...

The result can be a dead bird, or one with a very, very bad migraine. If you see a dazed bird on the ground, like this spiderhunter up at Fraser's Hill, what should you do?

Well, first, nothing except protect it from any marauding cats. Give it a chance to recover and it may fly away under its own steam as this one did. If it hasn't recovered within a few minutes, you can put it inside a cardboard box or similar, place it it a safe place for a while, and wait. Usually it will be fine within an hour or two. Then release it where you found it, preferably where it can't see the window though!

If this happens regularly around your own house, contemplate placing decals (stickers) of flying raptors (eagles) on your windows. In Kuala Lumpur, pittas are famous for smashing into windows during migration.

Spiderhunters are nectar feeders (hence the long bill) and they love banana flower nectar. they also collect spiderwebs for making their nests, which was probably what gave rise to the name. Did you know, though, that as young birds need protein to grow, most parent birds of any species will collect what is basically foreign food for them to feed to the young? A seed-eater will come back to the nest bearing insects, and so on...

Isn't nature wonderful? And people wonder why I watch birds...

5 comments:

Peter said...

It's not unique to birds. I've seen plenty of humans bash into glass doors too.

There is a funny tv ad here in Australia which features two crows up to mischief. The two crows are in a backyard tree watching a man on his patio attending to a barbeque. Behind him is an open sliding glass door. One of crows flies to the front of the house and rings the doorbell with his beak. While the man goes back into the house to answer the door, the second crow flies to the sliding door and, flapping hard, slides it shut. The two crows return to the tree to watch the man return to patio and bash into the glass door.
The ad is for a brand of window cleaner.

Glenda Larke said...

You know, I'm not sure that's fiction...lol. Crows are pretty damn smart. One friend of a friend up here has a fish pond. She found a crow feeding the fish with leftover bread in order to entice them into the shallows so it could catch them...

And I have seen footage of crows leaving hard shelled seeds on the roadway for cars to run over. Moreover they did it at the pedestrian crossing so that they can retrieve the contents safely when the light is red and the cars stop!! And I am not kidding - there is a study on these guys - New Caledonian Crows.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful bird!

Alex said...

That's so kind of you.... I've seen that type of bird a lot in Fraser's Hill...

russellk said...

We put in a 5.5 metre high window to enjoy the view of our gully. A fantail crashed into it at full speed recently. I did just as you suggested - stood guard over it for half an hour. It was alive but didn't move. Then, after thirty minutes, it shook itself and flew away.

I think I'll just let the spiders cover the window in cobwebs.

And on the subject of clever birds, I reckon New Zealanders (nicknamed 'kiwis', a slow-witted, nocturnal bird) would be better adopting the kea as their icon. What a fantastic bird!

The kea's cleverness can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRW4ztbY8Ok