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    Save the birdies!

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    It’s Spring! *cue the Marvin Gaye and Barry White.

    With that said, we have whole bunches of ‘new kids on the block’, who don’t know the ways of this crazy spinning orb yet.  This includes our lovely feathered-friends.

    Did you know “ a billion birds a year are accidentally flying into windows and buildings. The problem is particularly bad in the Spring and Fall, when birds are migrating across continents and hemispheres rather than staying put. Though birds have developed their migratory routes over thousands of years, evolution hasn’t prepared them for one particular obstacle: tall glass buildings.”?


    When I went to Europe the first time, I noticed every place I looked, there were a variety of bird window decals. Homes, bus stops, small cafes, restaurants on waterfronts, and of course the tall skyscrapers. And I wondered why I haven’t seen them in the US that much. I’m still scratching my head over this.


    Fortunately, feather friend-friendly (<—say that 5 times fast!) architects are starting to come to the birds’ rescue, by designing structures to be less attractive to birds. For example, designers from the firm Kieran Timberlake built the new U.S. Embassy in London with an outer envelope that prevents birds from flying into the glass. The Aqua Tower in Chicago features wavy balconies to minimize its reflective surface and instead, provide places for birds to perch. In many cities around the world, citizens groups are trying to persuade building managers to adopt a “lights off” policy at night so that the birds won’t be attracted to the artificial night light.


    At Swarthmore College, architects are installing “fritted” panes of glass in a new $71 million science building. The panes use small dots of opaque glass to impart a semi-frosted look, which hopefully will dissuade birds in flight. In Europe, some buildings may try using glass that looks opaque from just one side or that enables glass to easily switch from transparent to translucent.


    Here are some helpful pointers, if you’d like to make sure birds bypass your windows rather than crash land:

    * If you’re building a home, angle the glass on walls or big picture windows so the glass reflects the ground, rather than the immediate surroundings.

    * Shades on your windows are so important to reduce reflections. This will also help keep the shaded room cooler during hot months. Win for you and SUPER win for the birdies.


    * Install reflective or patterned window film .The film reflects without impacting the view too much, and also help keep the building cool. Window film allows light to enter a room, but will repel birds.


    * Plant trees where they can obscure glass somewhat and make bird strikes less likely.

    * Position bird feeders away from glass windows, so that birds won’t see a bird feeder reflected in the glass and aim for it instead of the actual feeder.

    * Use bird-safe glass. Ornilux bird-safe glass, invented by a German company, is embedded with a special layer that reflects a UV spectrum that birds can see but people cannot. The technology is similar to that found in spider webs, whose silky strands work similarly (and which is why birds don’t fly into).

    So can I ask for your help? Talk with us about window film, shades and such. Let’s save the birdies together.

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