The northwest alcove revealed a second-year (SY) Painted Bunting this morning, most likely a female. I recorded the sex as unknown.
Sadly, this bird was still (barely) alive when I found it: face down, panting heavily, and with blood flowing down the outside of its bill. I have found live birds in three states of condition on this project, and here is how I treat them in the data:
1) alive and perky, but “trapped” by the building – These are birds that are not obviously injured but for some reason are unable to turn around and fly away from the building and on their merry way. Healthy birds that I am unable to catch I am usually able to herd away from the building, and I keep separate data on these as “trapped”. I do not consider them window-kills, but I do consider them window-collisions.
2) alive, but impaired to the point that I can catch the bird – Often I can catch a bird that has collided with the building but shows no other outward signs of injury beyond my ability to catch it. Sometimes these birds appear dazed, but after I grab them they attempt a vigorous escape. If left on their own where I found them, there’s a good chance these birds would eventually fall prey to a predator in their dazed state. I move them away from the building and place them in dense cover where they can perch safely and continue to regain their senses. If the bird can perch strongly and flies a bit when I release it, I count it as a window-collision but not a window-kill. I include these birds as “trapped”.
3) impaired and clearly suffering – Non-responsive birds with other outward signs of injury (e.g., bloody beak) have very little chance of recovering from their injuries. I consider these birds to be window-kills, even in the two instances in which I euthanized the bird because it was unable to stand on a perch or was otherwise looking very poorly.
Sadly, the Painted Bunting this morning was a #3, and it was the 2nd bird I have euthanized on this project.