Monday, February 2, 2009

Bird and Windows Don't Mix

Here at Coffeetree Bottoms we have had some recent bird-windows collisions. Concern has been raised that bird-window collisions are a serious threat to bird populations, making this threat second only to habitat loss. There are estimates that as many as a billion birds die from colliding with windows every year. Another study found that deaths are as high as 1-10 per building per year!! We certainly don't want to contribute to bird death here at our house.

We've been lucky enough to have helped some of the stunned birds to recover and survive and we've also researched solutions. We tried putting decals on windows and also marking the windows with highlighters (commonly cited solutions) but with little or no effect. We then decided to try our own design for a window covering that does not impede our view out and yet (we hope) masks the windows from the outside so that the birds perceive them as something solid (rather than a travel route). We'll update later on our level of success. For now, here's what we did.

We bought a roll of poly screen (the kind you use to fix your screen windows) and cut a piece to be a couple of inches wider than the outside window trim:

We then cut some scrap wood blocks and drilled holes in their centers...

...and sandwiched them on the corners of the screen (using glue for the sandwich "filling")...

Here's a side view:

With all the corners done and clamped, we let it sit over night to set the glue:

The next day we used some finish nails... attach the corners to our siding (this was quick since we had pre-drilled our holes)...

...stretching the whole thing tightly over the window opening:

Of course, if you have aluminum or vinyl siding (or anything else you don't want to nail into) this won't be a good idea. We are going to try another design using suction cups for applications where nailing is not possible. We'll update on that design and on our analysis of the success/failure of our efforts soon!

Click here for further information on birds, windows & solutions.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe so many birds die each year from this. That is nuts.

    I was just thinking about the bird populations when I read about birds hitting planes (after the most recent plane crash-landing in the river) in the newspaper. We really need to work on new ways to coexist.


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