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bird, window, bird

"My" red-bellied woodpecker has returned to the feeders.  I don't actually know if he's the same one that flew into a window a few winters ago, but apparently they can live for twenty years in the wild, so it's plausible.  He'd knocked himself unconscious or nearly-so, and had dropped motionless into a snowbank.  I fished him out and took him to the sunroom, where he perched until he was ready to fly again; then I opened the sunroom door and away he went (and he was back at the same feeder 10 minutes later).  Red-bellied woodpeckers aren't all that common (not enough big trees, not enough dead trees), so I was glad to see he wasn't lost.

If birdfeeders are close enough to be easily viewed, then they're too close to be safe.  This morning, a female purple finch slammed into a window.  Poor little thing.  I'm pretty sure she's dead - she left a feather on the window, and that's a bad sign - but I've set her out of reach of predators for now, just in case.  I might attempt to draw her first - it's been a very long time since I've drawn anything worthwhile, but it's an exercise that would do me good.

Even without the feeders there, windows - even ones as hazy as mine - still take their toll on the bird population.  It's estimated that at least 100 million birds die each year in North America, due to collisions with buildings.

So, on my to-do list for today is to get window clings, to deter the birds.  I could move the feeders, but it's this convenient pergola thing where I can place as many hooks as I want, wherever I want them, and I don't have to trudge through snow to re-fill the feeders, and the cats and I both appreciate viewing the birds.  Setting up an overly-elaborate birdfeeder station is my only holiday/winter decoration.  But, it's no good if I have to clean up dead birds - that just feels cruel. 

wisconsinbirds.org also recommends hanging strings of used CDs in front of windows, to help deter the birds.  Sounds festive, but I'd have to find a way to hang them from the outside of the house.

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