Close Encounter of the Bird Kind


Natural History Curator Erin Cashion and I were headed from the collections warehouses to the Ohio History Center. As we approached the front entrance two birds collided with a darkened window just a few feet away. It was startling but Erin, whose research background is in migratory song birds, sprung into action.
I got a mini-course in bird handling as Erin described them as yearling Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). They are social birds who likely wanted to feast on the serviceberry trees near the entrance. Both birds were sitting on the ground with their beaks open (a sign of distress). She scooped up the bird closest to us and checked it for injury. After a few photos she released it and checked the second bird. The second was considerably less dazed and seemed content to sit on a branch for a while. 
Now that the berries have dropped the danger of birds striking our entrance windows has diminished. For more information on how to reduce window strikes at your home or office visit



Posted June 10, 2015
Topics: Daily LifeNatural History

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