Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Group treats dazed birds in Pingtung

BIRD-BRAINED:According to the Pingtung Wild Bird Society, it is possible that birds fly into buildings because they are misled by clean window panes

By Chiu Chih-jou and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A brown shrike that accidentally flew into a classroom window at a senior high school in Pingtung County is pictured on Thursday.

Photo: Chiu Chih-jou, Taipei Times

It seems that in real life birds do occasionally act like their animal counterparts in the popular game Angry Birds and crash into glass window panes. Unfortunately for the birds, they cannot break through the glass as easily as their game equivalents, and often the birds end up on the ground, dazed, bleeding or dead.

This recently happened at the National Pingtung Senior High School in Pingtung County, which has seen brown shrikes fly into the classroom, crashing against windows and dropping to the ground several times this week.

The Lai Yi High School in Pingtung County has also observed this behavior among the Indian scops owl, a protected bird species.

According to Pingtung Wild Birds Society chief executive Hsiao En-pei (蕭恩沛), it was usually birds more commonly seen in the region which fly into buildings.

However, Hsiao said that the shrike was currently in migration season, while the scops owls are often seen in the mountainous region in which Lai Yi Township (來義) is located.

According to Hsiao, it is possible that the birds crash into the windows because they are misled by squeaky clean glass windows, or are unable to redirect their course fast enough because of the speed they are flying at.

Commenting on the injured birds sent to the Pintung Wild Birds Society, Hsiao said that after his group has treated the birds it would keep them until they have fully recovered, adding that the society intends to release the birds into areas where they belong.

The scops is recovering well and should be released soon, but the brown shrike is not doing so well, Hsiao said, adding that the shrike has been unable to stand up since it was taken into care.

“We’re going to place it under continuous observation,” Hsiao said.

According to Hsiao, the Pingtung Wild Birds Society treats about 100 injured birds each year, with cases ranging from baby birds that have fallen out of their nests due to strong winds through to racing pigeons and birds that have flown into electricity poles.

Birds injured after flying into buildings account for about 10 percent of all injured birds, Hsiao said, adding that timely treatment given can aid the bird’s recovery.

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