This week I saw a red breasted nuthatch with only one leg. It was with other nuthatches that were at my feeder. It seemed full of energy and handled the feeder well. However, one has to wonder what the long term survival is for such a handicapped bird. I would think that as winter approaches a bird such as this would gradually weaken and die or become prey for the local merlin.
In the fall we have many birds hit the windows. Robins seem to be one of the worst window hitters. Sometimes you go out and there's no bird in sight. sometimes you find a very groggy robin that is unable to fly or move. Most of these birds revive and go on their way. And sometimes you go out and find a dead robin under your window.
So why do birds hit windows. In the fall there are many young birds in migration. The young birds are sometimes confused by reflections of trees in the window. What's the solution? Try to cut down on tree reflections in your windows.
The two year survival rate for birds is pretty low. They need all the help they can get. So people put out feeders and water. They control cats. They try to make their yards bird friendly.
So I wish my little red breasted nuthatch well and hope it survives with just one leg.