Late broods of barn swallow young are fledging, and mourning doves continue nesting. Open flocks of common nighthawks — those dark-colored birds with long, pointed wings and white wing patches — are gliding, diving and circling. They feed on insects in the air, and are headed south.
Warblers, such as magnolia and chestnut-sided, flycatchers and other birds are migrating through. Bird feeding stations are busy places.
Amid the movement, birds continue to hit our windows. A high percentage of those that are stunned fly to the nearest tree, perch there for a few seconds to clear their heads, and then fly off. If a bird falls to the ground after a window strike but does not die immediately, its chances for a complete recovery are good. Don’t leave the bird on the ground or deck; a cat or dog will find it. Or, if the weather is cool or wet, the bird may die because the feathers aren’t puffed out for insulation against the cold. Pick the bird up gently and put it in a dark container like a brown paper bag. Roll up the top and bring the bag indoors, and leave it in a safe place. The bird in most cases will rest and revive itself. It usually takes from 15 minutes to an hour or so for the stunned bird to recover. The bird is ready for release when it begins to chirp or move. Take the bag outside and open it near the ground. The bird should fly off.
Large windows in our homes, schools and other buildings are a hazard for migrating and local birds. Hanging mobiles or colored streamers of cloth or plastic on the outside of the glass is an effective deterrent.
Jim Gilberthe is the author of five books. He taught and worked as a naturalist for 50 years.