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Old January 31 2013, 05:34 AM   #16
Rear Admiral
Location: fresno, ca, us
Re: A bird flew into my window.

To answer the repeated questions, there are four double-hung windows symmetrically across the front of my house, two in the bedroom and two in the living room. All have shades between the panes. The bedroom shades were fully covering the windows and are blackout shades, so no light would be going through, had the room light been on. What's visible is the white shade as seen through a windowscreen. The upper living room shades are partially open to let some light in through the drapes.
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Old January 31 2013, 09:27 AM   #17
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Location: milky way, outer spiral arm, Sol 3
Re: A bird flew into my window.

As already pointed out, birds are unable to see glass and the concept of something being transparent and solid at the same time is something they don't know. The only transparent medium they usually encounter is air.

While in hot persuit of an insect, a bird can sometimes hit a window even if you have curtains or blinds. As they don't see the pane, they believe they have enough space left to maneuvre.

Especially small birds often try to pass through the gaps in blinds as if they were twigs.

These bird-of-prey silhouettes we Germans use on public buildings and other big glass panes have over the years proved to not work as well as we had hoped. Some birds believe where another bird "flies" they can fly as well and crash into the pane. Others don't recognize the birds of prey as such (a falcon and a dove are surprisingly similar if viewed from below). Others again ignore the silhouettes because they are the wrong species of predator (a species that hunts only doves will be ignored by sparrows).

There is a new invention, however, which looks quite promising. It's called birdpen. You use it to draw a crisscross pattern (or whatever you like) on the window pane. The pen's ink is invisible for humans (sometimes, at the right angle you can see a slight blur) but it reflects UV light and therefore is very visible to birds. This way they can see the obstacle and stop flying into it.

I just had a look and it appears that neither the silhouettes nor the birdpen are available at, but you can get the silhouettes at (British) and the birdpen at (German).
birdpen: (currently out of stock)
If you need help with ordering in German, I'll gladly help you as soon as it's in stock again.
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Old January 31 2013, 08:21 PM   #18
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

National Geographic for kids magazine had cutouts to trace and put on windows for just that. My parents assured us kids no birds had flown into our windows and the silhouettes weren't necessary. No matter, we pasted owls, hawks and such onto every window in the house!
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Old January 31 2013, 10:12 PM   #19
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

I didn't know birds flying into windows was so uncommon as to be thread-worthy.
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Old February 1 2013, 12:08 AM   #20
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

Back in college (Colorado State) most of the dorms had glass hallways that separated the wings of the the dorms. Birds crash into those windows all too frequently because the could just see right through to the other side.
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Old February 1 2013, 12:36 AM   #21
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Location: fresno, ca, us
Re: A bird flew into my window.

Mooch wrote: View Post
I didn't know birds flying into windows was so uncommon as to be thread-worthy.
Scared the mess outta me for a second. It was a BIG boom. I wondered if someone was trying to kick the door in. That happened once to us. They kicked once, at 11pm. Now that was scary--no idea what, who, how many, etc. All nothing, but you don't know at the time.

I didn't think it was all that common, more retelling the same few stories.
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Old February 1 2013, 12:47 AM   #22
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

Back in the 60s, a bird hit my dad's church office window. He went out, found an unconscious but alive mockingbird on the ground. Since it was cold weather season, he put it in his office closet, and put his hat over it to keep it warm. He forgot about it and went home that evening. The next day, the church secretary heard this noise coming from his office and opened the closet door. The bird, probably now starving, panicked and started flying between the two rooms (scaring the secretary of course). They opened all the windows in the two offices and it took 30 minutes for the bird to find the exit.
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Old February 1 2013, 01:56 AM   #23
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

A pigeon got into the stockroom where I work once. At the front and up high are large windows looking out into the main center area of the building, which is quite huge.

The bird flew INTO one of the windows, not once, but twice, head-on. The building is quite dusty, so we had two very distinct & perfectly shaped pigeon shaped silhouettes on that window for a good couple years.

We also had a young blue heron in that main area. He flew in one of the open dock doors at the end. Took most of the day before he finally figured out how to get back out.

He was lucky since he came very close to any one of four 15' (Big Ass) ceiling fans while flying around in there.

Birds are stupid.
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Old February 1 2013, 02:07 AM   #24
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Location: Finn
Re: A bird flew into my window.

[animal geek] Birds aren't wired to recognize transparent solids aka windows. Calling them stupid or dumb is like calling a cat stupid for not noticing a little tan gecko being still on the wall. It's how their perception works and not indicative of their intelligence [/animal geek]
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Old February 1 2013, 02:49 AM   #25
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

My family got back from a vacation to the Caribbean one year to discover that a hawk had flown through one of our porch windows, then tried to fly out another porch window.

It didn't make it. The porch was a mess of glass and...hawk.
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Old February 1 2013, 10:45 PM   #26
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Location: fresno, ca, us
Re: A bird flew into my window.

When I worked in aerospace, we'd occasionally have to go test equipment onsite. I went to one lab, always joked around with the guy, and he said he though there was a bird trapped somewhere, in a side room, in a cabinet (lots of cabinets), but couldn't find it. I listened a bit, walked around the lab...and found that one computer screen in one cabinet had no image, but the sound was on...and it was tweeting. Seems the guy didn't like having the image on for no reason while it was processing and forgot that he set it to notify him of whatever!
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Old February 2 2013, 11:16 AM   #27
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

I've had birds hit the window in a couple of office buildings I've worked in. But the weirdest thing happened when I was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car one time, waiting for the driver to come back from inside the store. It was an old car and it had the long external antenna popping up from behind the hood right in front of me. As I sat there, a bird came swooping by, straight into the antenna. He bounced to a stop on the hood of the car, sat there for a few seconds shaking his head as the antenna slowly twanged back and forth, then got up, walked around in a circle to get his bearings and flew off. It was like a cartoon.
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Old February 2 2013, 08:48 PM   #28
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Location: fresno, ca, us
Re: A bird flew into my window.


We had a bird dive bomb our antenna while on a freeway. Result was blood on the car and a dead bird.
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Old February 2 2013, 10:34 PM   #29
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Location: Huntington Beach, California
Re: A bird flew into my window.

The glass sliding doors and windows facing my back porch are non-reflective, so we haven't had any birdstrikes. However, we do have a bird feeder on the porch which attracts a lot of birds (mostly house finches) and when we first got it one of the cats got so excited she sprinted after the birds and didn't put the brakes on fast enough to stop before face-planting into the sliding door. It was like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon with her forward momentum and the slippery tile floor working against her as her little legs tried frantically to stop. She was fine, but she learned to sneak up to the sliding door rather than rush at it.
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Old February 3 2013, 01:31 AM   #30
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Re: A bird flew into my window.

I was cleaning some windows at work one time hen I just heard a huge "THWACK!" sound. A bird had gone full force into the window I was cleaning and was sitting down on the porch outside, trying to get his bearings back. Hope the little fella made it.
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