The Death of a Yellow Warbler

June 4, 2012

“All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.”
— William Shakespeare

Yellow warbler

This yellow warbler flew into the glass windows on the library’s patio deck, and it died.  One of my colleagues brought it inside, hoping that it was just stunned and would revive.  But it was truly dead.

All sudden death is shocking.

Yellow warbler in death

Yellow warbler

Detail of wing and feathers

I happened to be reading a book by a licensed bird rehabilitator — The Bluebird Effect:  Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds by Julie Zickefoose.  The book is filled with stories about encounters with birds that came into Zick’s life and home during their convalescences.  She remarked on the special difficulty of working with songbirds that need feeding frequently — nestlings need to be fed every 20 to 45 minutes, from dawn to dusk!  Had the warbler survived, but with broken bones, it would have required some labor-intensive care.

The Bluebird Effect is written by a bird rehabilitator

I loved Zickefoose’s watercolors and pencil sketches of birds.

7 Responses to “The Death of a Yellow Warbler”

  1. Chris Says:

    Oh, the poor, wee, thing!! I hate when birds fly into my windows. I wonder if the library would allow hawk or owl stickers to be applied to the window??
    I once volunteered at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Florida and yes, it was very easy to become “bonded” with a bird!!

  2. Rosemary Says:

    When I invited Julie Zickefoose to view today’s blog post, she sent the following response: “Beautiful bird, beautiful post. I’m so sorry this little migrant died. But thank you for the plug for the book!

    Just FYI what generally kills birds that hit windows is not a broken neck but a subdural hematoma (bleed in the brain). It’s a big drag and there are a lot of good minds working to solve the billions-per-year problem. My best solution is a crop netting cover for the window, mounted about a foot out on a PVC frame. I can look right through it, even take photos through it, but they bounce right off it!”

    Julie also provided a link to an article she wrote about the DIY window covering here: http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/solve/howto/window-strikes.php.


  3. So sad…I had an experience with an American Robin that saddened me as well. I try to remember that life includes death, but it is not always easy. You are braver than I. I could not photograph the dead robin….

  4. Chris Says:

    Great idea for the netting, unfortunately very few people would go to this much trouble to mount it on their windows…It really is a shame as we lose millions of birds every year to window strikes…not to mention free roaming cats!! 😦 I keep mine inside, just for that reason!

  5. Sallyann Says:

    Such a shame for such a beautiful bird.


  6. Your blog is a very tastefully crafted and well written. I enjoyed reading some of the poems you posted. The pictures on your blog, you have as far back as 2009 are also very attractive. Congratulations on being freshly pressed !


  7. […] Death of a Yellow Warbler, June 4, 2012 […]


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