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PREVENTING BIRD STRIKES ON YOUR WINDOWS

birdimagesExcerpted and adapted from an article by Connie Adair for realtytimes.com

In the winter in Connestee Falls, homeowners who have big windows that bring light, views and the outdoors into their homes also experience the sad event  when birds are attracted to and strike their windows.  Every year, millions of birds die when they fly into glass.

“…Recent research shows that one and two-storey homes and cottages are to blamer for the majority of bird strikes, most of which happen during daylight hours.

…Most people have experienced the heartbreaking thud of a bird hitting a window.  Environment Canada biologists have concluded that collisions with windows on small buildings are a leading cause of bird deaths…” says a FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) brochure.  Windows deceive birds: reflected trees or sky, a tempting potted plant seen through glass or a view straight through the building or  glass balcony railing can trick birds into thinking they can sail right through to the other side.”

Along with large windows used to provide lake views at cottages, the popularity of transparent balcony railings has also proven to be deadly.  To see for yourself just how reflective the glass on your house is, go out six or seven times in a day, on the hour, and take picture of the window to see what different environments are reflected as the sun moves.

There are simple steps homeowners can take to make their homes safer for birds.  Create “visual noise” by using decals and dots on the exterior glass surfaces to make it more visible to birds.  You can hang ribbons or strings outside the window, draw patterns on your windows with a bar of soap, install externally mounted window screens or apply a special film on the outside of your windows.  Putting visual markers on the exterior of the glass is more effective than pulling down blinds or closing curtains.  Hawk silhouettes don’t work well – birds know it’s not a real hawk.

Residential tape or dots placed on the outside surface of windows is more effective.  Spacing dots in 2×2-inch or 2×4 inch patterns is enough of a visual cue.  Pick a contrasting color, for example, white dots on a window shaded by overhangs.

During mating season, aggressive male robins and jays tend to bump against the window, thinking their own reflection is another bird.

Applying soap to windows will help – and on the bright side, when it rains you’ll have clean windows, but of course you’ll have to reapply the soap.

An exterior-mounted bird screen is another option.  If birds hit it, they bounce off like a trampoline.  Netting is not recommended – it can become loose and entangle birds, and end up doing more harm.

Winter (and migration times) are bad times for bird strikes.  (Early fall migration is the worst time in Connestee Falls,  especially for young Wood Thrushes & Worm-Eating Warblers).  Position bird feeders less than 1.5 feet from your windows, or more than 30 feet away to prevent birds from flying into feeder reflections.

FLAP Canada advises that Ii you find an injured bird, place the bird gently inside an unwaxed paper bag or cardboard box, and place the bag or box in a quiet location away from people and pets.  Do not give the bird food or water.

(In Connestee, I have had many bird strikes.  For birds that are just stunned, you will see that they are still moving or breathing if they are alive.  I have had success in gently setting the stunned bird upright in a foliage planter on my deck, or carrying them out to a protected sight in the yard or woods where I can watch them, preferably under a shrub or foliage, where they can recover safely.  I find that when they “come to” in an upright position in a familiar environment, away from predators, they often recover and escape to live another day.)

SOURCE:  Connie Adair for realtytimes.com

 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much for the information, I am a bird lover on January 8, 2017 at 4:13 am

    My my husband Flavio Alvarez and me had a property in Usgewi court. We loved it.

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