HAZARDS

Birds and windows are mortal enemies. Every year many birds die as a result of their flying into windows.

 

The articles that follow may be of interest to you. The first describes a proven solution from a member and the second provides information on what to do if you find a "dazed" bird.

   

My Solution for Reducing Bird Deaths

Carolyn Minson

 

Most of us hate to hear that sickening thud that indicates a bird has hit a window. Before we did anything to prevent the window strikes, there were sometimes as many as four or five deaths in a day when the finches were here. My first solution was to hang streamers of orange plastic tape such as that used for flagging trees with old CDs tied to the streamers because that was supposed to help prevent bird deaths. As you might imagine, wind caused the CDs to bang against the windows, which ended that experiment. Then I had read that if one used a certain kind of yellow fluorescent marking pen on the inside of the windows, those would not be very noticeable to humans but would keep the birds away. That was not a satisfactory remedy for us, nor did it prevent bird deaths. I considered decals, but in order to be effective, they should be placed about 4 to 5 inches apart all over the windows. That seemed financially prohibitive and likely to be visually unattractive.

 

The next step was to attach hooks to the edge of the eves and hang deer netting all across the back of our main living area. Of course, although that did prevent almost all window strikes, there were problems. Wind blew the netting around and often caused it to catch on something and not hang straight. Also, sometimes birds that were startled would flush in haste and end up between the netting and the windows. Plus, it was UGLY! Then after two or three years of tolerating the deer netting, I learned about a new product called Bird Screens and decided to go to the expense of purchasing those and hanging them from all the back windows. Those were more effective and less unattractive than the netting, but there were still occasional deaths from window strikes. They also had some of the same issues that the netting had. Startled birds would sometimes get between the screen and the windows and have difficulty finding a way out. And, even though there was a plastic strip on the bottom, they sometimes blew around and ended up twisted. 

 

In fall of 2010, I read about another new product called AcopianBirdSavers. You can check these out at their website: 

Acopian Center for the Environment  Once again, this product is pricy. However, I ordered one for our back door, which seems to have more bird strikes than other windows, because I wanted to see exactly how it was made. During this past winter and until the finches left, this product was on our back door and the Bird Screens on all the other windows to each side of the door. While there were a few deaths in the Bird Screen areas, to our knowledge, there were no deaths as a result of hitting the door. After checking out how I could build my own, I called the developer of the product to ask about what kind of cord they had used. He told me they used 1/8" diameter nylon parachute cords. Because I could not find nylon cords in Hot Springs, I used a cotton cord, which is satisfactory, but not as much as the nylon. The BirdSaver product is hardly noticeable from inside, but the slightest breeze moves the cords and apparently breaks up the reflection from the birds' perspective. Before the finches return next fall, I plan to have this on all our back windows. If you want to try this product, I suggest building your own for the window that seems to have the most bird strikes. Click on this link to see photos of the Bird Savers on actual windows:  Acopian BirdSavers — Stop birds from flying into windows.  To get information on building your own, just click on "Build Your Own."   

Above images from the Acopian BirdSavers website.

 

Treating Dazed Birds

 

Fortunately, some birds that hit windows are able to fly away, apparently unharmed. But, if the bird does end up on the ground, either dazed or unconscious, pick up the bird before a predator gets it. There are different ways of protecting the injured bird. Even if you do nothing else, be sure that the bird is positioned so that it is not lying on its back because birds cannot turn themselves over from that position. One of the easiest ways to protect the bird is to put a wire cage over it, one that has openings large enough that it can fly away when it is ready, but small enough to keep predators away. On a hot sunny day, the bird and cage should be moved to a shady location.

 

Another way to protect the injured bird is to put it in a dark container or box with ventilation holes and a secure lid. If the weather is cold, you could move the container to a warmer location. When the bird revives, you will hear movement. At that time, carry the box to a sheltered location such as an outdoor chair or bush. Allow the bird to depart on its own.

 

Do not attempt to feed or give water to the bird. If the stunned bird does not revive enough to fly away, it is not likely to survive.

 

A list of all licensed bird rehabilitators in Arkansas can be found at: 

            http://www.agfc.com/species/Documents/migratorybird_rehablist.pdf