Tag Archives: nuthatch

no-kill windows

I tried something new to protect the birds from the windows.  I used to have gift wrap ribbon dangling and fluttering – it works well, but not 100%.  One or two birds still struck the windows every year, and that’s a sickening thump I could live with never hearing again.

So I raised my game.   I stretched black nylon bird netting over our windows, on little posts to hold it away from the surface.  I think there’s enough tension on it that even if a bird flies full speed and direct into the window, its momentum will be absorbed before it hits the glass, enough to save it from injury.

More likely the birds will see it readily and the spring rebound will not be tested.

I’m waiting for the chickadees to come stand on my posts to eat their seeds.It’s not a Better Homes and Gardens look.  Not many things are around here.  HW was not impressed.  “What if I did something like that?  Stuck pieces of wood and baling twine all over the house?  I’d be in so much trouble!”  I disagree.

From the inside, it looks like security glass.  The mesh is subtle, but definitely visible.  However, if it prevents wild bird death:  totally worth it.

It’s cool that I can recognize individual birds returning to the feeder now.  The Nuthatch is back, with an offspring and I strongly suspect that it is the Nuthatchling that we met in the summer!  It took me a bit, but I remembered that last year the Nuthatch had a long and steep learning curve using the feeder.  Man, she was bad at it!  But this nuthatch came in like a pro and did some demonstrations, so definitely the same little bird. Watch and learn, youngster.

Nuthatchling

I was yanking out St. John’s Wort along our woods path, and I saw a little flutter.  There was an itty bitty bird, hopping along in the duff.

Because it allowed me to, I reached out and picked it up.  I thought at first it was a chickadee, but the way it grabbed on my hand indicated a woodpecker.

Then I noticed the tip of its beak was all gummed up, and I picked and pulled at that.  I think it was sap, full of dirt. Very sticky.  As soon as I got most of it off, and it could open its beak, it squawked!

I carried it home for a photo shoot and to show HW.  It seemed pretty content.  Chicks tend to like being held, after initially being disgruntled.  Oh, I’m warm.  This isn’t so bad.

Then I took it back to where I’d found it.  I tried to put it on a tree, quite sure it was a creeper, but it fluttered back down to the ground.  I retired and watched.

It started cheeping.  Peep, peep peep.  Peep, peep peep.

Sure enough, a nuthatch appeared in the overstory.  Of course, nuthatch!  It flew off in the wrong direction, but I was quite sure it had been looking for the source of peeping first, so it was probably off for a grub to return with.

Later on, the baby was gone so I’m sure it was fine.  Possibly its beak was shut with the sap, though, so that it couldn’t make noise.  I like to think I helped it.

It’s a fallacy that parent birds reject chicks if you touch them.  The best thing to do for a fallen chick is to replace it in the nest or the branches of a tree and wait for the parents to return.