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February 25, 2018
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was enjoying the birds at my bird feeders this winter. Well, I still am. It is amazing to me how during periods of mild weather my feeders need filling far less often.

Obviously, they are finding sustenance elsewhere in wild sources of food but they quickly are back hitting the feeders hard when the weather returns to awful. I find that amazing because if I was a bird and I found an easy food source, I wouldn't leave it. I wouldn't make a very good bird because my present body condition would render me a flightless bird. But my physical fitness or lack of fitness is not the topic under discussion here.

Planting my body close to the feeder wouldn't be a good strategy, however. If I landed there (or waddled there in my case) and just stayed put, a predator would soon have me picked off making me part of its dinner. For this reason, birds limit their time at a feeder and return to security cover thus making many short visits to the feeders instead. I kind of got off topic before I started because I wanted to write today about a problem with feeding near my house.

Locating feeders close to my windows allows me increased enjoyment of my feathered friends. But occasionally, I will hear the thud of a visitor hitting the glass. If I scurry to the window when I hear that, many times it will afford me a look at the bird that hit the glass. It may result in a look at a lifeless bird or a dazed one on the deck. The dazed ones oft times flies away but research shows that many of those die as a result of its injuries.

Over the years, I have received many calls from folks wanting advice (actually they are wanting solutions) to their problem of birds hitting windows.

After cats, windows are one of the deadliest threats to birds in America. Researchers have estimated that between 100 million and 1 billion birds are killed by colliding with glass every year, in the United States alone. I know, that is quite a range but whichever number we choose it still represents a lot of birds.

The birds hitting my windows during the winter are generally doing so because they think they can fly on into the house and look for more food. Closing the blinds can take care of much but not all of these collisions.

But more of my calls about birds and windows have come in the spring of the year. I will discuss another bird/window problem next week.



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