Ovenbird admitted after window strike

By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital

An ovenbird was among the 68 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a Florida softshell turtle, two Cooper’s hawks, two ruddy turnstones and an osprey.

Many species of neotropical migratory birds are passing through our area as fall migration begins. Ovenbirds are a migratory bird commonly admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

The ovenbird was admitted after being found on the ground, stunned from colliding with a window. A physical exam showed the bird had an increased respiratory effort and was having trouble balancing but had no fractures or wounds. Staff administered oral arnica, an anti-inflammatory, pain medication and placed the ovenbird in an animal intensive care unit to rest. Although still clearly neurologically challenged, the ovenbird has been able to self-feed and is eating the insect diet offered by staff. The ovenbird will continue to recover in the bird room at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

Windows are a major cause of fatality for many birds, not just migratory birds. Windows can be deadly because clear and reflective glass fool birds into thinking it is an open flyway.

There are several ways to prevent birds from striking windows. Covering windows with insect screening may protect birds and stop them from hitting unyielding glass. Moving bird feeders within three feet of a window will prevent injury and death because birds can’t build up enough momentum to injure themselves if they strike the window. Decals are effective if spaced two-four inches apart. Something as simple as closing window shades or blinds can also break the reflection.

Detailed information regarding methods to prevent window strikes can be found on the American Bird Conservancy website, abcbirds.org.

If you find a bird that has hit a window and is stunned please place it in a ventilated box, do not leave it on the ground. A bird that is stunned is an easy target for predators such as hawks, snakes or domestic pets. Call the von Arx Wildlife Hospital team if you have questions.

Recent Releases — 12 Animals Returned Home

  • 1 common grackle
  • 3 northern mockingbirds
  • 1 Virginia opossum
  • 2 northern cardinals
  • 1 blue jay
  • 1 peninsula cooter
  • 1 Florida softshell turtle
  • 1 raccoon
  • 1 marsh rabbit

Opportunities to Help

Please visit the Conservancy website at www.conservancy.org to view all of the amazing volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Volunteers are needed more than ever during our incredibly busy summer season. Your volunteer time, memberships and donations are vital in helping us continue our work to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

Joanna Fitzgerald is director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Call 239–262–2273 or see conservancy.org.

Click the icons below to find us elsewhere: