Red-breasted-Nuthatch-3cRed Breasted Nuthatch

Birds: Nuthatch

Wham! The large pane glass shook as the object struck. Too soft to be a golf ball, which often hits the house from the adjacent links course. Yet too loud to be good for what hit the window. Looking out the door window, I spotted a nuthatch face down on the front porch. It’s wing was jammed to the side and it’s legs were spread in a full split. The birds head was on it’s side also, but it’s left eye was twitching.

Going out to inspect, the bird was still alive. I picked it up and it’s toes clasped my fingers. I put my hands around it’s body, gently putting it’s wings in alignment. Bringing the bird into the house, it’s pulse was going at about 150 beats a minute, or twice my pulse. It seemed shivering so the bird did not struggle, but seemed to calm down in my palm.

I stared at the bird intently. It’s eye stripe and buff breast were darker than I had thought. It was also smaller as I moved my fingers into the feathers and could feel it’s body outline. It was so light!

After about three minutes, though, it’s eyes were apparently seeing clearly and it’s wings started to flutter.

I took it outside and opened my hand. The bird stood still, clasping my index and ring fingers. Slowly, putting my hand down on our porch bench, I nudged to bird to the new perch. It reluctantly released my fingers and plopped down on the bench, sitting on its rump.  Still dazed, it looked only straight ahead.


Slowly, the Nuthatch regained it’s feet, moved it’s head from side to side and recalibrated it’s bearings. Off it flew to the nearby Shore Pine, in the front yard. Somewhat less stunned, but still alive. it wings away to find a safe spot to recover from this collision.  I hope it makes it.

Lesson: Put bird warning symbols (hawk silhouettes) on windows, even if the windows are small.

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