Robin goes bonkers at own reflection

... It's okay, it's okay -- he survived

from Don Norris

That's right, the young robin flew right into our picture window with loud thud. It isn't the first time this has happened: while the robin survived, at least two other birds (one a rare warbler) have made this same mistake -- with disastrous outcome.

Three such collisions in a mere fifty years. While the odds are much against it happening again, there isn't much Lorry (my wife) and I can do to prevent it.

This is what Young Robin saw just before he crashed into the window.

The four-panel Anderson window faces west, providing us with a lovely view of the Melrose valley below -- and the Fellsland ridge two miles away. In the afternoon the sun reflects strongly on the window, which then becomes a mirror of the light shining through our big pin oak in the back yard.

Perhaps the birds are startled, and seek escape by darting for the light -- the reflected light in the glass of the windows. Twice the birds were flying fast enough to do themselves in; the third time I suspect the young robin was roaming our lawn, looking for perhaps a worm.

We found the young robin next to Lorry's garden below the windows; he was resting upright, eyes bright but wary of the two big humans. We discussed what to do -- apply a splint, rush Mr. Robin to the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, or maybe just get him a dish of water.

Suddenly our injured bird regained his whits, and without so much as a cheep, flew away -- apparently recovered, apparently scared of its two benefactors, apparently with a headache.

So much for a Friday afternoon.

Footnote: I also remember, it was a male cardinal, who got in tbe habit of visiting our feeder, which was attached to the windowsill. For three days he fought with his own image.

July 1, 2011

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