Thursday, December 20, 2007

A holiday present for the birds

We enjoy lots of light in our small house due to several sets of sliding glass doors. One set of these doors is placed exactly opposite to a large window on the opposite side of the house. You can see right through the house due to the placement of these windows. When the crepe myrtle is in full bloom, the red glow suffuses several rooms. Visitors walk into the front door and get a sliver of a view of the back garden and the light pouring in from that side of the house. Unfortunately, birds also seem to think they can fly right through the house. I’ve often wondered how birds aim themselves when flying. Evidently many simply fly into the light, and thus the great danger to them of a pane of glass between them and a light source.
It’s not unusual to be sitting and reading and to hear the unnerving thump of something hitting the glass door on the back side of the house. I can remember only one occasion when a bird hit the glass and died on the spot. By the time you get to the glass to investigate the thump the bird is gone.
The bird might be gone, but to judge by what they leave behind it’s hard to believe that they are not injured. In the right light one can make out the oily impression of wings and bodies on the glass. Sometimes there are feathers at the scene. Two days ago I was sitting near the glass when a thump much louder than usual interrupted my reading. I looked up to see a big bird making a bee line for the woods. I’m not sure what kind of bird it was – I saw black and white, maybe it was a woodpecker. When I examined the glass I was heart-struck: there was blood on the glass. To be injured is bad enough, but to be injured going into the winter strikes me as a death sentence.
I went out and bought and today hung a 7’ x 20’ piece of a product called Bird-X along the eve of the house. It hangs about two feet from the house wall, so any bird hitting it will almost certainly not crash hard into the glass. Bird-X is made to protect fruit and vegetables from bird damage: this installation will protect the birds from themselves.

1 comment:

AvianMaven said...

That's a great entry. Good for you for going out and doing something to prevent more birds from flying into your windows. I know a lot of people deal with the same thing you dealt with and I'm sorry. I know how disturbing it can be to see that little bird (or the aftermath) in pain. I actually just wrote an entry about the same topic on my blog if you are interested. I had some tips on how to deal with it too. Here is the link:

It's sort of funny that you mention Bird-X the product, because I just discovered Bird-X the company (which specializes in cruelty free bird exclusion) and wrote that up too. Anyway, thanks for the blog entry. I really enjoyed it.