Expert: Video Of Woodpecker Hitching Ride Through Chicago Tells Only Part Of Story

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A video making the rounds on social media shows a woodpecker clinging to an open car window getting a whirlwind tour of Chicago. But experts say what appears to be a cute avian encounter is a sign of bad news for the bird.

Steven Saffier, program manager for Audubon Pennsylvania’s bird friendly communities, says he’s seen the video.

“That bird in that video is injured, clearly. You can tell by the way it’s blinking, and moving,” Saffier said. “Healthy birds don’t cling onto cars, or go for rides on cars, or come into cars and cling onto your shoulder. People think it’s cute, but it’s unfortunate that it’s probably a window strike. And when birds strike windows, they are sort of knocked semi-conscious.”

Saffier says after a while, stunned birds may seem to recover their senses.

“But oftentimes they have internal bleeding, and they fly off,” he explained, “and often that’s just to find a place to go pass away.”

Some do survive, so if you happen to find an injured bird, Saffier says to put in a box and take it for a ride — to a licensed rehabilitator.

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