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A Tale of Two Birds

It happens often. Birds crashing into our windows. They can see light from other windows in the house, if the drapes are open. About 50% of them survive. Last week, alas, we learned this lesson anew.

Bird Tale #1: Young Hawk Hunting

It started with a loud crash against the front bedroom windows. I heard it from my office and went running. Typically, I find a stunned bird in the grass outside. This time, I found two.

Our best guess … the young hawk was chasing / hunting the littler bird or it had already caught it prior to crashing into our window.

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They look a little better here, but when I first found them (and after Tom came running too), they both looked stunned and ruffled. We feared they were in bad shape.

I. was. worried.

There were feathers and blood plastered on the window. Not kidding.

I enjoy all birds, but I particularly love the really big ones and the really small ones. I fell in love with this young hawk immediately.

We watched. We waited. We tiptoed around the house, hoping.

We felt pretty good about the hawk’s chances of surviving the crash, but the littler bird didn’t look so good … broken wing, shaken, etc.

It’s strange to say, but we hoped the hawk would take the little bird with it, if / when it flew away. We didn’t want the little bird’s life to be lost for nothing.

As the minutes ticked away — 30 … then approaching 60 — the hawk regained some composure and indeed began to eat the littler bird. That was a good sign, we decided.

Stupid, stupid me, however, tried to get some video of the hawk eating … my lame attempts to be sneaky drove it to fly away. But, it did fly. It did seem OK. It did take the rest of the little bird … leaving just a small pile of feathers behind.

We have not seen it since.

Bird Tale #2: Hummingbird Lost

I often multitask during my workday, including hanging laundry out on the line, which means going in and out of the sliding glass doors. And, sadly, the day after the hawk incident. I found this little guy on the ground, outside one of our glass doors.

I. was. devastated.

I scooped it up and brought it immediately to Tom, hoping I was wrong, hoping the bird simply needed our help.

Sadly, not to be. We buried it later that day.

[That’s Tom’s hand for perspective.]

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I won’t lie. I had a big old boo-hoo about this tiny bird. I love hummingbirds. Love them. When they were over 2 weeks late coming back this year, I was worried.

So, until I can look into window decals that keep birds from crashing, we’re keeping both sets of drapes in the bedroom closed. There is just something about how the sets of windows align and how the sun shines and how the trees show through that appear to our bird friends as if there was no barrier.

RIP, little bird.

And, hawk friend, we hope you’re soaring high today.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Dog-geek - June 30, 2011

We’ve had similar problems. One side of our house has huge windows going up two stories, and we’ve had a lot of trouble with bird strikes. Curtains are not really an option – the house is a double a-frame, and the windows go all the way up to the peak. We’ve put a lot of decals on the windows – both the regular ones and the UV decals, and they have cut down on the number of bird strikes dramatically. It may look a little tacky, but it is worth it!

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