Suicidal Birds

sparrow.jpg Remember how the other day I said a bird flew into my window twice? This morning three birds flew into my window, one so bad I went downstairs to see if there was an injured bird, and sure enough, there was a sad, hurt little bird. I had nothing to catch him. I went all around the neighborhood, under-dressed (it was cold) looking for a store to give me a box, and it took forever, most places weren’t open yet, and the only one I could get was too small.

I went upstairs, trying to find a bird rescue place to tell me what to do, reached a squirrel rescue woman who was very nice, and she gave me two numbers to try, but said the bird might just be stunned, and just needs a little while. So I’ve showered and I’m going back down there. But even if the bird isn’t there, that doesn’t mean he didn’t hop off someplace to die.

What is going on with these birds?? I’ve lived here since the early 80’s and have never had this problem before. I think they are sparrows, because they kinda look like this picture.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Suicidal Birds

  1. Recently a similar type bird flew into the glass wall of my 2nd floor deck and plopped down onto the driveway right next to where I was sitting. I picked it up and layed it in a shoebox with a towel and just left it on the 2nd floor table. After a while it gathered its wits and stood up and eventually flew away. It was just stunned.

  2. Hi Stacy-
    So, what was the outcome? It’s very true that birds are usually just stunned and will recover, but sometimes need a little help just to keep them safe in the meantime. Even the tiny ones, like hummingbirds, hit windows with a big thud and a long time later, recover, and off they go. I love birds, have several feeders and over the years have had the pleasure to hold a few of them after various “accidents”. One was a Cedar Waxwing, gorgeous bird, which I came across outside my workplace once just lying there on the hot pavement and panting! A short time in the shade and off it flew(but not before a flurry of phone calls, water and box fetching occurred!). I hope your little guy took flight too. Why all of a sudden you’re experiencing this, I don’t know. You should contact your local Audubon Society and see what they have to say. Maybe the time of day or the lighting then, time change? It takes me a week to recover from that.

    Did you know that “One hundred House Sparrows were introduced into Brooklyn in the fall of 1851 and the spring of 1852. From this initial introduction, the species expanded throughout the eastern United States and Canada. Aided by transplants from established populations and additional introductions from Europe (for example, into San Francisco and Salt Lake City in 1873-1874), the species now ranges from central and northeastern British Columbia to the James Bay and south to Panama.”

  3. Thanks for the assurances, Michelle and Betsy! I went back downstairs and he was gone, so I’m going to assume the best. That he flew off. The squirrel lady said what you said, Betsy, to shoo him into a safe spot so he can recover without getting attacked by a dog or something. But that had already happened when I tried to catch him. He hopped away from me to behind the garbage cans.

    I loved how the frantic box finding is a universal thing, apparently. I’m jealous of your feeders! But thanks for all the great bird information.

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