Birds flying into windows

It is very common for birds to fly into windows, especially during the Spring when there are many inexperienced birds around. Very often, birds who fly into windows simply need a short period of rest and are then ok. However, if there are signs of significant injury, the bird should be taken to a wildlife rescue.


When to contact a rescue #

If any of the following are true, the bird should be taken to a wildlife rescue

– the bird lost consciousness
– the wings are sitting asymmetrically
– the bird is unable to hold their head up/the neck is twisting
– you can see any blood

We also recommend that any woodcock who fly into windows are taken to rescue as these are especially fragile and complex birds.

Migrating woodcock, who fly at night, frequently hit windows


When to take other action #

If the bird does not meet the above criteria for immediate rescue, we recommend picking them up (advice at and putting them into a cardboard box lined with a towel. Close the lid (add air holes if needed) and place the box somewhere warm and quiet – a bathroom works well since pets can be shut out. At this point, it is best not to give anything to eat or drink.

After a couple of hours, or overnight if it’s getting dark, take the box back out to the garden and open the lid. Hopefully the bird should immediately fly away. If not, they will need to go to a rescue for further help.

Finding Help #

You can find details of rescues in your area by searching our directory. If you're unsure whether to intervene or you have difficulty finding a rescue who can help, we have information about sources of bespoke help. We also have articles with detailed, practical advice about capturing an animal, providing short term care, contacting a wildlife rescue, and getting the animal to them.

Updated on May 28, 2024