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Nature Notebook – Fall Migration and Window Strikes

Fall bird migration is in full swing and with it comes deadly dangers:  window collisions.  Glass reflects the landscape and birds think they can continue flying into the “trees.” Predators take advantage of the increase in prey numbers during migration.  Even a resident yard bird will take to the “safety” of the reflected trees if a hawk is chasing them. 

If you find a stunned bird that doesn’t seem injured, put it in a shoebox in a safe place…away from predators and curious human eyes.  Don’t try to give it food or water.  Just let it be.  Every 15 minutes take the box outside and open it.  If the bird is okay, it will fly away.  If it isn’t flying or is injured, contact a rehabber listed on the Michigan DNR website (

There are many window covering options to stop future collisions. Go to to learn about DIY ways to stop the deadly collisions. They estimate about one billion birds total sadly losing their life every year in the U.S. due to collisions. At the nature center, we have been using tempera markers, thick string, and sticky dots to cover our windows, all with success. Go to to learn more and find ways to stop window strikes.

Fall migration can also be a time to enjoy these fall migrants with a walk outside. Sarett naturalists took a bird walk on our trails last week and saw or heard over 33 species (not including any common feeder birds.)