The von Arx Wildlife Hospital is located and part of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. We are located at 1495 Smith Preserve Way in Naples, Florida. Call 239-262-2273 for wildlife assistance.
Two red-eyed vireos were among the sixty-six animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a black racer, a common tern, a snowy egret, a common ground dove, five gopher tortoises and a marsh rabbit.
Red-Eyed Vireos Collide with Window
Red-eyed vireos are one species of migratory birds passing through our area on their annual fall migration, traveling long distances from their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada to overwinter in Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. See bird migration maps of our area in real time.
The red-eyed vireos were found on different days in different locations in Naples, yet both suffered neurological damage from window collisions.
The vireos were dull, but responsive to handling upon arrival at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Staff administered arnica tincture (a homeopathic remedy often used in trauma cases) and placed the vireos on supplemental oxygen in darkened animal intensive care units to rest. Head trauma cases require rest in a dark quiet space and minimal handling for at least the first twenty-four hours.
On their second day, both vireos showed signs of improvement. One vireo was extremely active, yet was unable to sustain height when test flown.
The vireo required several hand feedings, but quickly began to eat on its own. Mentation-wise the vireo is not at one hundred percent and continues to recover in the bird room.
The second vireo was very active and flighty. After two days of care, the vireo fully recovered and was cleared for release.
Along with the red-eyed vireos, a worm-eating warbler, an ovenbird and a prairie warbler were admitted last week after facing injuries due to window collisions.
The worm-eating warbler is receiving care at the wildlife hospital for the neurologic issues sustained from the window collision, while the ovenbird and prairie warbler died from their injuries.
Help Protect the Birds
Collisions occur both at night and during the day.
At night, lights on office buildings draw migratory birds close to buildings. They become disoriented and exhausted, causing them to collide with buildings. Many cities across the United States and Canada are working to save migratory birds by initiating “lights out” programs during peak migration time. This initiative is similar to the “lights out” campaign that exists during sea turtle nesting season.
Some simple solutions to reduce building collisions:
- Shut blinds and shades
- Shield and aim outdoor lights downward
- Turn off all non-essential lights from 11pm to 6am
Head to this link for more solutions.
Collisions during the day occur because birds can’t perceive clear or reflective glass. Windows reflect the sky and trees. Birds perceive the reflection as an open flyway and collide with the glass. These collisions happen when birds strike windows on homes and high-rise office building windows.
The key to preventing window strikes is to make birds aware of expanses of glass.
There are many ways to prevent birds from colliding with both residential and commercial windows. More information on proven solutions to prevent window strikes.
Many solutions are easy and cost effective and don’t have to be applied year round – at a minimum, take collision mitigating actions during spring and fall migration and help save birds. See different products you can easily buy below.
It’s Migration Season, Be on the Lookout
If you find a bird that has struck a window, place it in a ventilated box immediately. A stunned bird is an easy target for roaming cats or other predators. It is common for a stunned and disoriented bird to further injure itself by stumbling or fluttering into a road or body.
Once the bird is contained, transport it to the hospital for professional medical attention. Do not offer food and water. As always, if you have questions, call the von Arx Wildlife Hospital, staff will help guide you through any rescue situation.
A red-eyed vireo, eight Florida softshell turtles, a northern mockingbird, three laughing gulls, four eastern cottontails, a ruddy turnstone, a sandwich tern, five grey squirrels, a red-shouldered hawk, a red-bellied turtle, a peninsula cooter and two raccoons were released this past week.
Opportunities to Help
With the help of Amazon.com and Chewy.com, it’s easier than ever to donate to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital! We have created a Wish List on both websites where you’re able to see the items we need the most in order to help care for injured and orphaned native wildlife. By using Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase back to the Conservancy so you’re helping twice with one purchase! Please visit our wishlists by using the buttons below.
Your donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference in injured animals’ lives and helps us continue our work to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.
Joanna Fitzgerald is the Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, Florida 34102. Call 239-262-2273 or see conservancy.org.