Today Nuala might be a hero – a little, furry, orange, accidental hero. She was outside in our back yard on her harness and leash and she kept trying to get into the neighbours yard. Our yards are pretty open with only 4.5ft iron rail fence… so she can see whats in their garden and can fit through if the lead is long enough. She was pretty insistent – and then J realized why.
A little bird had struck their window and was still somewhat alive on their deck. J knocked, but it’s Thanksgiving and they are not home so he popped over and brought the bird to our yard. It was not moving, but not dead. A flurry of activity here – we both looked up what to do with window strikes, bring in both cats, find a un-waxed shoebox or paper bag, get the bird to a safe warm place (J’s office is warmed by the sun and has a door we can close to keep curious kitties at bay).
The bird was tiny – and I didn’t know what it was. I think it was a little brown creeper. With many North American bird species populations showing losses of 70-90% and with cats and windows as the most massive killers (numbers beyond comprehension) every life matters.
If you have windows that face trees – especially forest – you have a ‘kill zone’. The bigger the window, the more dangerous. Birds can’t see glass (especially highly reflective glass) and only see the trees reflected there and fly to them … and their deaths. You can put up UV reflective stickers on your windows, keep the blinds closed, or as I do – keep the windows dirty especially during migration times (the dust is a barrier that they can sometimes see). I also use UV stickers on my larger windows. I rarely get a bird-window collisions – but nothing is perfect.
We left the little bird alone in the warm room in its shoe box. They say an hour. We waited an hour and it was slowly coming to – flapping like it wanted to leave. As per the online instructions, we walked into our forest nearby… and opened the box. It didn’t come out immediately. In fact when it flew – it only went a short distance and hung awkwardly from the tree – but too high for us to re-capture it. We waited. And waited. It didn’t fly off or move. We had no choice to leave it there to recover it’s senses (we hope!).
Went back an hour later to look at/for it. It had flown off – it wasn’t on that tree or on the ground or nearby. Every cell in me hopes it survives and is okay.
But no matter what, our little orangie is a hero to that bird. If it has any chance at all, it’s because she was vigilant and alerted us to its plight. You hear so many stories going the other way – cats killing birds. It’s so nice to hear a good-news story of a rescue partially by a cat. Way to go ‘Wala!