Sunday, May 22, 2011


I was just sitting in the den in front of my computer screen (does anyone ever sit behind his computer screen?) when I heard a thud in the living room. I got up to see, and there was a bird lying on the living room floor. Apparently it flew in through the open French doors (aren't all doors in France French doors?) and tried to fly out through the windows in the north wall. They were closed. Thud.

The stunned bird on a deck chair. He picked up a few dog hairs from the living room floor. Don't judge.

The poor thing was still breathing, so I figured it was stunned and took it out on to the deck. After a minute or two it started having spasms and writhing around in circles. Uh-oh, I thought, he's a goner. Callie watched with great interest. Ken came out to see what all the commotion was.

The bird, une mésange charbonnière (a great tit, parus major), kept trying to stand upright, but would suddenly be taken by a spasm and fall over, one wing outstretched. This went on for a few minutes and then, suddenly, the bird stood up and hopped a bit and was gone into the air.


  1. The bird is saying... "come on, I'm in trouble here, and you had to get your camera?"

  2. Happily they're sometimes just tougher than they look.

  3. We ave swallows that fly in, the can't find the way out again, so we have to open all the windows to try and shoo them out.

  4. And we thought cats were the only ones who had nine lives.

    We've had good luck with stunned birds here also although it's usually our cat who has done the stunning.

  5. Great photo - the detail is amazing.

  6. How often does a bird sit still to have a picture taken? Great colors on the little great tit.

  7. It's a good day. Oh, and all doors in France are French doors, right?

  8. I'm so glad the great tit lived to see another day. Brilliant picture. Love the dog hair!

  9. Go figure! It was probably 'testing' you at first to see what YOU were up to, then when it was safe, it took off!
    Great and all.

  10. Quick thinking to grab the camera - a sure sign of a professional photographer (always have the camera handy)!

    You saved that bird, Walt! Forget about a little dog hair.

    How nice to see the little birdie up close. Thanks.

  11. Walt,

    I am so glad to hear this story had a happy ending! When we lived in Pennsylvania we had a sunroom surround with many windows. Unfortuantely, many birds would crash into those windows. Usually they broke their necks and died immediately. However, every now and then one would come too and survive, much as your lucky little friend did. Where we live now is out in the open and we haven't had one bird crash into a window which is surprising because we have a lot of birds around here. I think the reason is because there are no trees reflecting from the windows. This year right below our sunroom window a catbird is raising her young. A little farther out in our backyard, the bluebirds have taken to nest again and are raising five young ones. Pictures will follow. Thank you for posting this survival story. It was heartening.

  12. poor thing
    we get these all the time; always a sad event.

  13. cheryl, well, I don't do "mouth to beak."

    n&a, yes. This is a somewhat regular occurrence around here.

    sue, that happens here, too, with these little birds and sometimes bats. But I've never had a swallow in the house!

    evelyn, Bertie hasn't brought us any birds yet. Just mice and lizards.

    jean, :)

    peter, only when it's experiencing head trauma!

    mike, right-o!

    mitch, I have enough to share. Would you like some?

    jim, hmmmmmmm...

    mary, I just didn't want a dead bird on the living room floor.

    ron, looking forward to seeing the pics!

    michael, but if they revive, then all is well. Sometimes they don't. Last week I had to toss a bird that hit the back of the house into the ditch. He didn't survive the blow.

  14. Ah, thanks for your generous offer, Walt the Fourth, but we found new homes for our cats weeks ago and there's still cat hair enough around here to last us until we move.


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