Dear Cathy Cockatiel: A wild bird flew into my window and fell to the ground, alive but not moving. What should I do? How can I prevent this in the future?

Cathy responds: Place the bird somewhere safe and warm, where other animals can't get at it. Then consult Animal Help Now to find the right people to provide care.

Animal Help Now is a nonprofit organization that connects people experiencing wildlife emergencies with the right services, depending on the species, location and other needs. AHNow also offers education and other resources on their website (www.AHNow.org) and free phone app.

Experts estimate that approximately one billion birds die every year by flying into windows that appear transparent - and therefore invisible - to them. Half of all household window strikes result in death, as stunned birds often fly away but die elsewhere of internal injuries.

You can help prevent these tragedies:

Apply properly spaced vertical or horizontal lines to the outside of your windows. Consider Acopian BirdSavers or one of the homemade options described on its website, www.birdsavers.com.

Add one-way window film to the exterior surface of the glass. You'll find many options at www.collidescape.org.

Even a screen or net outside the window reduces reflection and cushions any impact that may occur.

Move houseplants away from windows so birds don't try to fly through the window to perch on them.

Close blinds and curtains when possible.

Bird feeders near the home should be placed within 1.5 feet of the window, so any bird that flies from the feeder toward a window can't build up enough momentum to get seriously hurt.

For additional ideas, visit www.AHNow.org and click on Resources.

°°°

Dear Christopher Cat and Daisy Dog: My daughters keep getting reinfected with head lice. We have a cat and a dog. Could one of our pets be harboring the lice that are infecting my daughters?

Christopher and Daisy respond: No. Lice are species specific, which means they stick with one type of host. So human lice attack humans, dog lice target dogs, and cat lice infest cats.

Since other humans are infecting your daughters, you should talk with their health care provider about how to treat their lice and prevent reinfection.

If your pets ever do get lice, you may spot them as small white specks moving through the fur. You'll more easily see their eggs, called nits, which look like tiny white flecks of dandruff cemented to the hair.

Fortunately, most flea products eliminate and prevent recurrence of lice on cats and dogs. It sounds like human lice are more challenging. Good luck!

Ask the Vet's Pets appears Friday in the print edition of the Reading Eagle. The animal authors of the column live with Lee Pickett, V.M.D., who practices companion animal medicine. Contact them at www.askthevetspets.com.