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LottaLiving.com • Native birds and windows: please don't mix them!
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Native birds and windows: please don't mix them!

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:26 am
by Slim and Gabby
Does anyone have another solution:

http://windowalert.com/windowalert.html

We have great birds at our house, but every once in a while, they slam into our big windows; this morning I found a dead thrush, she broke her neck! I don’t like the design, but it’s preferable to seeing native birds die for a bad reason. It is nice to have the drapes open sometimes, but my birds have a lot of priority!
“Help me Obiwan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!”
Slim

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:18 am
by rockland
All day long...
It is painful. All of our smashers seem to recover.
Our original owners had bird decals on the sliders. A black 'bird in flight'
thing. I think it encouraged them more than a warning.
We put feeders and keep them full on the corners and edge of the deck and
under the eves. Now they slam into the side of the house. (idiots!)
Actually i think they just see reflection in the glass during certain times of
the day. An aplique or an interior curtain shut may not solve it.
(But it might keep friends at a party from trying to walk through)
My dad, the bird guy, says to put something hanging 'outside'. Anything. In 'front' of the glass.
I think you have the mcm overhangs? I'm sure you have something Slim and Gabby festive
to hang that will distract them? A few swingin' spinning 45's? Dad says it just needs a little movement.
I do love the birds. I even put out a rug to help the nesting. Nice warm greek wool flokati.
Image

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 1:22 pm
by Slim and Gabby
I was able to catch this Red Shouldered Hawk with my camera a few weeks ago in my front yard; I would be completely devastated if one of them was killed chasing a damned non-native starling:
Image

Image

I hate it when ANY bird is killed, but it's even more tragic when the predators die, as there aren't nearly as many of them.
Slim

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:48 pm
by Slim and Gabby
I'm wondering if this will do the trick:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=20664

I think if I do some swell space-age stencils, I can make them look not so out of place, er,um, yeah? Well, I'm still researching a solution, but it might help.

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 6:36 pm
by rockland
I'll forward this to my 'bird club president' dad. Might be something else to try.

Any fun pattern on the glass is temporary so it is worth a try? I would still put it on the exterior to
break up the glass reflection.
" Another option is a fine plastic mesh installed a few inches from the outside of the window to soften the blow if a bird flies into it."

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:45 am
by Miguel
Unfortunately, I hear that dreaded sound too many times... mostly mourning doves, but occasionally small birds. Found some of them dead right beneath the window. Hard to prevent with the large clerestory windows... I guess I could leave them dirty...

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:22 am
by Joe
scarecrow?

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:58 am
by Slim and Gabby

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:09 am
by Joe

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 11:44 am
by kandersen
My heart breaks every time a bird flies into our windows. Of course, these are the same windows that give us the chance to see barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers and more flying through our trees. Rockland, I love your picture--a titmouse, correct? We don't put rugs out for our birds, but we do brush our bunnies outside and leave the fur for the birds.

Anyhoo, I got these tips from http://www.birdchick.com:

Q: How do I keep birds from hitting my window?

A: This is not an easy question to answer. Birds will strike window panes for different reasons. During mating season, a male will sometimes see its reflection as a rival for their territory and will try to fight the intruder to get it to leave. Migrating birds will see a reflection of the space behind them as they fly and perceive that they will be able to fly ahead only to fatally encounter the hard surface of a window pane. Feeder placement can also play a role in window strikes. In some instances, hawks will drive birds into a window to stun them and make them easier to catch.

There are several options to try, but they’re not simple. For birds fighting their own reflection, you need to get them out of the habit of seeing the reflection. Every day, when the bird is inspecting its nesting territory it comes to the same spot and finds a rival waiting for him. You can get him to forget about this rival by placing a barrier on the outside of the window. Cover the glass with a bed sheet or newspaper for ten to fourteen days. This might seem like an inconvenience, but it’s much better than listening to a bird slamming itself against your window for half the summer.

If birds are flying into the window, look at the location of your bird feeders. Having feeders within ten feet of a window prevents birds from hitting the pane so hard. Having feeders right on your window is even better. A feeder right on the window forces the birds to slow down and inspect a possible feeding area.

Feeders within twelve to thirty feet of the house can cause more bird fatalities. The feeders are far enough away that the birds can get a good speed going before they hit the window. If feeders are more than thirty feet away, that tends to force the birds into a flight path away from the window panes.

If hawks are driving birds into the window, there is little you can do. Birds are trying to flee a predator and if panic sets in, they are not going to make the best flying choices. If this is a regular problem try placing decals, sun catchers, or Mylar tape on the outside of the window to break up the reflection. These MUST BE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW; if they are placed on the inside birds will not see them.

Another option is getting the type of netting that is used by gardeners to keep birds from eating berry bushes and placing that six inches away from the window pane on the outside. This creates a type of cushion, preventing songbirds from hitting the window. The netting is so fine that it is barely noticeable when you look outside, however it can block some of the light coming into your home.

What we really need are for architects and glass makers to find a way to either develop building designs that are safer for birds or create glass that birds can see.

In addition, you can visit David Sibley's site for another tip to prevent some birds from hitting windows. Also, check out CollidEscape or Birdscreen.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 5:54 am
by rockland
The rare bearded tufted titmouse. (dad humor :roll: )
Image

update. Nothing really new from the bird club. But i did hear a looong bit about the sighting
of a nesting Kingfisher spotted on this weeks hike.

They all seem to use a version of all posted above. Dad has two widows that were trouble
in the past. One now has a suet feeder handing from the eaves, the other has two
hummingbird feeders. (smaller windows than our sliders and clerestories)

I've finally mastered a window washing method and i'm not much of a housekeeper so this
would really be a dump if let them go dirty :)

"Some of the ladies hand their 'things' all over the windows. What do you call those things, hun?"
Anywho, you get the idea of the conversation. They live in a 'kuntrey klutter' part of
the country.

(The red hawk is stunning every time i see this post!)

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:23 pm
by eggMCMuffin
In the spring we get birds endlessly bouncing off of the windows at our house in Portland. I think it must be some kind of territorial behavior because they don't hit that hard (as if they're trying to pick a fight with the reflection). I wouldn't mind so much if they didn't start up at the first hint of daylight each morning... It has been one thing I've not missed about living elsewhere this spring. I'm sure our renters are lovin' it, though.

Bird repellant...

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 2:16 pm
by looter
I was just in Ecuador at a reserve with hundreds of birds. They had CDs hanging down from the eaves in front of each window. Not a very pretty solution though.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:48 pm
by MCMLII
I'm glad this topic came up (well you know what I mean, a search for a solution). We've been struggling with this for a while. This past winter we had what must have been our most persistant kamikaze, a robin. For several days he bashed himself against our windows. Eventually I hung dark plastic, like a garbage bag, on the outside of the window until he finally stopped coming to the window. Attractive, no, how long does it need to be there, who knows, days. But it seemed to work similar to one of the solutions Kandersen posted

Slim and Gabby I know you are looking for long term solutions for those unexpected accidents, we get those and it's heart breaking, but unfortunately this is all we have so far.

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:39 pm
by dani
has anyone had any luck with anything?? I know this is an OLD tread but I guess you may have gone through some trial and error. Nothing is worse that waking up to a big old thud against the window. I have only had one fatality since we have owned the place. Ironically enough the rose breasted gross beak I found was on the ground next to the window with the big old Black Crow that is stuck on the glass (from previous owners) so I guess that is coming off, It looks awful and apparently does nothing.

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:37 pm
by merritt
This guy seems to keep birds away from my windows:
Image
It seems like the birds all know he's around, so they keep themselves in the trees and not so much on the house.

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:19 am
by johnnyapollo
There's a product you can apply to the window that's basically a contact sticker that looks like a large water droplet - apparently it helps. I found that from one of my blog posts on a similar topic:

http://john-eaton.blogspot.com/2010/01/ ... indow.html

-- John