Saturday, November 12, 2011

Preventing Bird Window Collisions

Each year countless birds die as a result of collisions with windows or reflective glass. New windows in particular are very reflective so a bird will only see the outdoors, perhaps the sky or trees, reflected back and it will keep flying right into the glass thinking it has a clear path ahead. The resulting injury is usually immediately fatal or permanent (fractures, head or eye injuries) and even if the bird flies off apparently uninjured, it may perch somewhere, disoriented, and die later of a slow bleed or shock or fall prey to a cat or other predator.

I recently installed a window film called CollidEscape on the outside of a patio door, to stop birds from trying to fly through the house. I found out about this product from the Fatal Light Awareness Project (FLAP) newsletter.
FLAP is a non-profit group started by a group of dedicated volunteers who pick up injured or dead migrating birds from the base of high-rise buildings in downtown Toronto. The birds that recover are released outside the city. It has evolved into a very effective organization dedicated to stopping the deaths of birds hitting reflective glass or lit buildings at night. They have helped with establishing changes in building codes and are now in a legal battle with the owners of one particularly deadly building. Their work has brought attention to the plight of our migrating songbirds and similar projects have started in other major cities in North America. If you care about the fate of millions of migrating birds, please go to the FLAP website and get informed.
After installing this window film, the results are quite dramatic and effective from the outside and do not impede our view at all. The first photo shows our view through the film from the inside; it's like looking through a regular screen. The other photo shows the view from the outside. It almost looks like a solid white window, giving privacy. It allows the sun to shine in and the view but the birds no longer try to fly in.

The cost was $130 for two patio door panels which came in 2 rolls. I cut them to size before installing so that I have enough leftover to do a couple windows.  The life of even one bird saved is worth it for me. I ordered directly from this website .
The customer service was excellent, I ordered the patio door set and there is plenty of material and it is easy to cut to whatever size you need. It's worth checking out this site if you have a troublesome window or door in your house. There are also other ways of reducing window collisions described in the FLAP website so please check it out.

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