Crash-Proof Glass for Birds

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“It’s estimated that as many as 1 billion birds die each year in the United States due to collisions with windows. Daniel Klem, a biologist at Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College, has been studying the problem for three decades and cites window strikes as a major cause of bird fatality. The primary danger stems from reflective glass. Birds see escape routes mirrored in reflective glass and fly unaware into windows. The speed and force of the impact can cause instant death. Birds that seem stunned or do not die immediately may actually be fatally injured – suffering from a brain hemorrhage or other internal bleeding. These stunned birds are temporarily less responsive and thus highly susceptible to predation. Transparent glass poses a similar threat as birds collide into unseen windows en route to some visible target on the other side.U.S. every year. ”  From Audubon’s Minimizing Window Collisions

That cringe-inducing sound of a bird smashing into your window may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Ornilux Mikado, a glass created by a German manufacturer. This bird safe glass was developed with help from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, through their study of Orb-web spiders. Spiders protect their laboriously spun webs with a special UV-light reflecting silk that prevents birds from flying into them. Ornithologists and engineers realized birds perceive the reflections of the UV light and recognize them as dangerous obstacles. Wild birds were released in a flight tunnel and flew toward two glass panes secured by a net. In doing so they could decide between normal insulating glass as the control glass and test glass. With the use of ORNILUX® premium as the test glass, an exceptional number of the birds flew into the control glass to avoid the bird protection glass.

The result is an innovative coating which is applied to the glass. The highly effective coating is barely visible to humans and integrates seamlessly into architecture.

There are also films, decals, and other materials you can affix to your windows so that birds can see them. Here’s a list of hints to keep birds from your windows :

But if a bird does hit your window,it is not necessarily fatal. Oftentimes a bird will just be temporarily stunned. Place the bird in a small box. Line the box with a towel and place half the box on a heating pad set on low. Give the bird a small bowl of water, but no food. Do not attempt to force the bird to drink. Place the box in a warm quiet place. Check the bird in one hour. If the bird is alert, active and able to fly, then release it immediately. Although the head may flop around, making you think the neck is broken, it is just due to the fact that bird necks are very flexible.

See more about windows at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology



1 thought on “Crash-Proof Glass for Birds”

  1. Roger,

    It’s great to hear that new, bird saving technology has been developed and is now being marketed. Thanks kindly for bringing this to our collective attention.


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