Make Your Windows Safe for the Birds

January 23, 2008

Suction Window FeederRecently I found in my mail a press release about the bird-safe glass specified in Santiago Calatrava’s new Chicago Spire, and it reminded me that skyscrapers are not the only architectural threats to our avian cohabitants.

While major cities located along migratory flyways get a lot of attention, they account for a comparatively small percentage of kills. The crucial next step, says New York City Audubon Society executive director Glenn Phillips, is “getting to the big designers of suburban and exurban buildings.”

I live in a one-story suburban house, cheek by jowl with other houses, but I’ve still been startled by a SMACK! on my window and had to check outside for a small feathered body. And I design similar houses and their additions. Clearly I’m someone who should Do Something. But what? One answer came from the Birdchick Blog.

Sharon Stiteler suggests that we put feeders on our windows, so the glass is not only safer (the birds slow down to check out a food source), but bird-friendly. (My cats are pretty impressed, too.)

Laura Erickson has a whole page of bird-safe glass modification options, and David Sedaris found his own solution. (Thanks, Sharon, for pointing me in this direction.)

(I highly reccomend the BirdChick’s blog, btw, as a terrific way to start to learn about those flappy things in the sky. No, not flags. Also about Disapproving Rabbits, but I can’t think of a tie-in to Green Building Options for poor Cinnamon.)

Other posts of interest to novice birders of the green tint: