Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Wild Bird Care Centre – December 6, 2012

CFN – I was heading out to drive to a scheduled appointment and there he was.  Head painted with a swatch of red, balancing himself on his tail feathers, feet barely holding his little black and white body up…a downy woodpecker who was allowing me into a comfort zone where most birds would have flown away.   With the help of balance through his out stretched wings, it was obvious on closer inspection this little guy had become injured.  What on earth had happened to leave him in this obvious dizzy state?  As he tried to keep himself upright I surmised he must have flown into the window of the vehicle either out of fear from a larger predator or perhaps a loud noise had coaxed him in the direction of the solid plate glass.

I had recently read a newsletter from an organization dedicated to helping injured birds which talked about several Bohemian Waxwings which were currently in their care due to trying to fly away from a loud noise which found them flying face first into glass and requiring care to get them back into flying shape.   The correspondence I had received said that “If a bird does hit your window we recommend the following: Leave the bird in its place to recover, or place it in a small dark box.  Handling a window impact bird will cause it further stress and can be very detrimental.  Allow the bird to rest and check on it every half hour.  If it is fluttering around release it.  If after 2 hours there is no improvement please bring it to the Centre for further treatment.”


So with this information in the forefront of my mind from my read earlier in the week I went into the house to find a small box for the dazed bird to rest.  When I came back out with the box the bird was lying on its side, eyes open and conscious.  My hand gently encircled my dazed feathered friend and I could feel his heart begin to race faster as I transported him to the house to place him in the box.  Remember I was on my way to run an errand when I discovered the bird.  I was going to leave the bird in the box in the garage then decided my warm studio might be a better place to leave the box. This I did and off I went.  Not sure what I would find when returning home I could hear a scratching coming from my studio when I entered my home.  At first I thought one of my cats might be trying to get the box open.  Upon entering the studio it became clear it was the woodpecker pecking away at the box trying to get out.


There was a small hole in the box which he tried to escape through a couple of times as I neared the box.  I quickly took the box outside to open and inspect my charge who obviously felt much better.  As soon as I lifted the lid of the box he happily flew to the first tree in sight.  I watched him easily land and hop about the branches.  My body could barely contain my delight in seeing Woody fly away with new vim and vigour.


My warmest thanks to the Wild Bird Care Centre whose post received on my Facebook time line helped me to help Woody.  More information about their work can be found at   For information about what you can do to prevent glass and daytime collisions, visit


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1 Comment

  1. Another important thing to note is how much of the seed you are giving is actually just filler. Many less expensive feeds use a lot of filler, which the birds don’t generally eat and are basically a waste of money and can make a mess in your yard. Filler seeds include milo, sorghum, red millet and golden millet. Birds will push through these fillers to get the food they want, so it is more financially sound to choose one that is higher quality.*

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