A Curious Female American Redstart
A female American Redstart Warbler nesting nearby often leaves the woodlands to forage in the trees around our library. Usually, she flits and flutters, constantly on the move, staying hidden behind the leaves as she hunts for insects. Once in a while she will momentarily light on a delicate bleeding heart plant, making for a beautiful photo if I am lucky enough to be behind the lens at that time. I enjoy watching her. Female Redstart Warblers are mostly a pale gray, with olive green wings and flashes of yellow and orange on her shoulders and tail feathers. The colors are especially beautiful when she fans her tail.
This particular Redstart appears to be very curious about the cameras, long lenses and me. Once in a while, she stops her foraging activity, perches close by, and just watches me.
An Unexpected Visit
My library windows are usually wide open, with two cameras on tripods (one with my 500mm lens and one with my 300mm lens) pointing out to different parts of our garden. Insects of all kinds fly in and out, mostly destined to die on some window sill in another room. I keep a rotating fan blowing toward the windows — hopefully to discourage insects from coming in.
Memorial Day was not a fair weather day, so only one window was open. As I often do, I had left the cameras for a few moments to attend to something in another room. During that short interval, a female American Redstart Warbler flew into the library, through the living room and then made a beeline to another set of windows in the master bedroom.
Of course I can’t be sure that the female Redstart who entered the house through the window near my camera setup is the very same curious Redstart that I see so often in front of my camera. But I’d bet on it. In the bedroom, she was fluttering back and forth against the window panes. Once in a while, she would rest on the window sill, watch me, and then try again, searching for a way out to the trees she could see, but not get to.
I opened the bedroom window almost immediately – but it took her a little while to find her way out. I grabbed my camera and took a couple shots of her before she left. She graced me with a fan of her tail then flew out and up to a nearby tree. Once she was comfortable, she turned her head back to look at me, then flew off to the woodland. I saw her again later the same day, foraging in her usual places….obviously not too traumatized.
Birds and Windows
Window glass is invisible to birds and potentially lethal when they fly in and strike the glass. Birds only see the reflected greenery and skyline and attempt to fly toward it.
Sadly, we hear the sickening thumps of a bird crashing into our windows almost every week. They leave a splat of dust and feces behind. Most crash victims rest a few minutes after they bounce off the window and then appear to recover. They are able to fly away, although who knows how many of those birds die later of their injuries.
It is estimated that hundreds of millions of birds are killed world wide by flying into glass windows. There are many solutions designed to decrease or block the window reflections if you wish to safeguard birds from crashing into your windows. Visit this link if you would like more information.