Update on Injured Martin

Good news on the HY purple martin! In yesterdays post I wrote about the injured martin I found laying upsidedown at the base of a tree at the purple martin roost. Last night I fed him some scrambled eggs and this morning I fed him some more eggs and about a dozen large flies I caught. Yes, can you imagine me catching flies to feed a bird? What purple martin landlords will do for these birds. The martin seemed in good condition but just didn’t want to fly so I had decided to bring him to Folke Peterson Wildlife Center.

Later in the day I called and Vered, the Certified Veterinary Technician at FPWC, told me that she also suspected head collision trauma. The bird had received some medication to decrease any swelling in the brain and if all goes well he may make it to Brazil yet! Hopefully he won’t get to close to that raccoon at the roost before he flies south. The question is now begging to be asked, What is head collision trauma and what should you know about it?

We called this type of injury “deceleration trauma” in my nursing days. This little purple martin probably flew into the tree at the roost or perhaps even another bird in flight, nothing could have prevented this accident. Fatal head trauma happens all the time, and most of it is completely preventable. Did you know that window collisions are the number 1 human related cause of death in birds. We are talking about estimates of 100 to 900 MILLION dead birds per year from flying into glass windows.  www.Flap.org has a great list of the top 13 human related causes of bird deaths and the info on this site is sobering. Check it out HERE. But what should one do when you find a victim of a window collision? Read this article by FLAP called Enhancing Recovery: Helping Bird Rescuers Help Birds .

Though there was no way to prevent this young martins collision, most of the human related collisions can be prevented. How can you protect birds from window collisions? Window Screens break up the reflection of the glass. Hanging any number of objects in front of window like old CD’s, ribbon, suncatchers, stickers or decals such as WindowAlert are a great help also.

I will keep you up to date on the little guy.

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