A few weeks back we posted a Facebook story about how we came to “rescue” a beautiful red cardinal after it had struck the reflective (energy-saving) glass window looking out on our back deck.
This wasn’t the first time. We’ve performed numerous salvages and rescues, and we’ve had a number of not-so-happy endings through the years.
Keeping the Cat Away
We’re also pretty sure our cat has caught on to what the sound of a bird strike portends, perhaps akin to the ding of a dinner bell. Off it goes through cat door as we race outside to the rescue. Sometimes kitty gets lucky and is outside ready and waiting. ?
Do Window Decals for Birds Really Work?
There’s quite an array of solutions to this bird strike problem and after an afternoon of online research, we believe we’ve found one that is simple and will do the trick. We passed over the decals, not wanting to mess with the view onto our deck and into the surrounding woods. Some studies have shown that the decals are not all that effective anyway. Another alternative was to stretch fine meshes of bird netting very tightly about a foot in front of each window. Logistics were an issue there. So the simplest, and relatively least obtrusive method was this one.
You can actually buy a kit when you access the link to the Acopian Bird Savers site. Their back story, research, and testing convinced us this was the way to go. Plus they generously provided instructions on how to build one’s own bird deterrent system. Which we did!
With some modifications, we used one inch PVC electrical conduit instead of the vinyl strips. We also screwed in large brass cup hooks to suspend the pipe and extend it out a little more from the window. The paracord colors are dark green and grey.
As can be seen in the last photo, the strings are barely obtrusive and actually it’s kind of fun seeing them move in the wind. It’s definitely a test project at this stage, but we’ve had no strikes for days now. We’re quite hopeful that we’ll not be hearing the sickening sound of a hard hit and then seeing a sad sight on the deck boards. Enough is enough!
We gardeners all tend to enjoy birds. Many of us feed them and put up houses for them. There’s such magic and beauty about them. We are very keen to help our feathered friends through the winter and now we’re hopeful we can keep more of them from unwittingly committing hari-kari on our window panes. If any of you, our fellow nature enthusiasts, have a system of protection, we’d be delighted to have you share in the comments below or up on our Facebook page.
You may also enjoy our other unique bird rescue story featuring a golden crowned kinglet and a hawk.
In this video, we tried reducing a young Downy Woodpecker but unfortunately he did not survive. 🙁 We are grateful that his last moments were gentle and filled with love. And that a majority of our bird rescues DO make it!
G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson