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Old 10.11.2006, 11:04
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Bird Silhouettes on Glass

I'm sure all of you have seen the bird silhouettes on glass in Switzerland. I wondered why I had only seen this pheonomenon here. As there are birds, and glass buildings in every country. Either that people care more about birds here, or the birds are more stupid here, or as my Swiss friend offered. He thinks that birds in England wear crash helmets- still don't buy that.

In my research I came upon this website. Saying it is a global problem, and more birds die in the US than in a major oil spill every day.

Why is it then, when I lived in London I never saw deads birds on the floor , or even slightly dazed pigeons? Where on earth can they get these figures from?

Has anyone witnessed a bird flying into their window?

I have actually had a nightmare about this with birds halfway through windows and bus shelters.. but im still not giving up the cheese

http://www.windowcollisions.info/
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Old 10.11.2006, 11:59
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

Quote:
Has anyone witnessed a bird flying into their window?
When I was growing up we used to have birds smashing into our windows all the time, sometimes several times a day. The good news is that most small birds (sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, etc.) escape unscathed, and fly off immediately. They seem to almost bounce off the glass, and the force of impact isn't very great becasue they have such a small mass. However, if the angle of impact is too direct, or the bird is larger, then there are more serious problems.

It's the big birds that seem to suffer the most damage. I remember one Boxing day morning years ago sitting with my family in the living room, when we heard an enormous crash come from the kitchen. We all rushed in to see what had happened, and when we established that everything in the kitchen was in order, one of my brothers happened to look outside. There was a merlin falcon lying in the snow under the window with an obviously broken neck. My brothers and I were very upset by this, and wrapped it up in a blanket to keep it warm. However, there was clearly nothing we could do, and it died within about an hour. And what did my mom do? (I am NOT making this up). She waited for the body to freeze (it was winter, after all) then moved it into our chest freezer. She eventually took it to a taxidermist, had it stuffed, and this bird now sits on top of a bookshelf in the kitchen, directly next to the window where it met its untimely death. The window, for the record, escaped the initial collision unharmed.

As for the decals, I've seen them in North America as well. They didn't make an ounce of difference at my parents house, so I suspect that a large part of the appeal is that people at least think they're doing something helpful.
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Old 10.11.2006, 12:05
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

I've seen them on objects like tram stops, bus stops etc. I wondered about this as well and came to the conclusion that it was not only for the birds, but that the stickers were there to stop people as well.
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Old 10.11.2006, 12:12
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

Maybe your interest in such matters qualifies you for a job at Rolls Royce or MTU. Aircraft jet engines need to withstand bird strikes, which can at worst case lead to the loss of an engine.

Obviously it would be cruel to feed live birds into the engines in the pursuit of science, so frozen chickens are loaded into a compressed air cannon , and fired at the rotor. Ain't nothing left to create a silhouette unfortunately...

I don't think KFC chickens would ever be used as even the most reliable engine would spit it out in disgust.

dave


Quote:
When I was growing up we used to have birds smashing into our windows all the time, sometimes several times a day. The good news is that most small birds (sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, etc.) escape unscathed, and fly off immediately. They seem to almost bounce off the glass, and the force of impact isn't very great becasue they have such a small mass. However, if the angle of impact is too direct, or the bird is larger, then there are more serious problems.

It's the big birds that seem to suffer the most damage. I remember one Boxing day morning years ago sitting with my family in the living room, when we heard an enormous crash come from the kitchen. We all rushed in to see what had happened, and when we established that everything in the kitchen was in order, one of my brothers happened to look outside. There was a merlin falcon lying in the snow under the window with an obviously broken neck. My brothers and I were very upset by this, and wrapped it up in a blanket to keep it warm. However, there was clearly nothing we could do, and it died within about an hour. And what did my mom do? (I am NOT making this up). She waited for the body to freeze (it was winter, after all) then moved it into our chest freezer. She eventually took it to a taxidermist, had it stuffed, and this bird now sits on top of a bookshelf in the kitchen, directly next to the window where it met its untimely death. The window, for the record, escaped the initial collision unharmed.

As for the decals, I've seen them in North America as well. They didn't make an ounce of difference at my parents house, so I suspect that a large part of the appeal is that people at least think they're doing something helpful.
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Old 10.11.2006, 13:24
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

Quote:
When I was growing up we used to have birds smashing into our windows all the time, sometimes several times a day. The good news is that most small birds (sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, etc.) escape unscathed, and fly off immediately. They seem to almost bounce off the glass, and the force of impact isn't very great becasue they have such a small mass. However, if the angle of impact is too direct, or the bird is larger, then there are more serious problems.

It's the big birds that seem to suffer the most damage. I remember one Boxing day morning years ago sitting with my family in the living room, when we heard an enormous crash come from the kitchen. We all rushed in to see what had happened, and when we established that everything in the kitchen was in order, one of my brothers happened to look outside. There was a merlin falcon lying in the snow under the window with an obviously broken neck. My brothers and I were very upset by this, and wrapped it up in a blanket to keep it warm. However, there was clearly nothing we could do, and it died within about an hour. And what did my mom do? (I am NOT making this up). She waited for the body to freeze (it was winter, after all) then moved it into our chest freezer. She eventually took it to a taxidermist, had it stuffed, and this bird now sits on top of a bookshelf in the kitchen, directly next to the window where it met its untimely death. The window, for the record, escaped the initial collision unharmed.

As for the decals, I've seen them in North America as well. They didn't make an ounce of difference at my parents house, so I suspect that a large part of the appeal is that people at least think they're doing something helpful.
I think this is the funniest post I have ever read...there should be an annual awards for English Forum. Or poster of the month. But I also notice that all of the pictures are of Hawks and predatory birds that the other birds would be scared of. Perhaps this is the problem with Hawks as the probably were attracted to your sexy picture of a Hawk. You never know, your windows could have looked like a teenager hawks bedroom, with posters of the hottest hawks around.
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Old 10.11.2006, 13:38
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

It's really common throughout Europe to have these things. Unfortunately they are not always effective and the cafeteria of the European Investment Bank is usually surrounded by drifts of dead birds. Eventually they put up a mixture of black and white birds and this cut the carnage.

The saddest one I saw was a red-tailed kite. A beautiful bird, common as Croydon in Switzerland, but still a sad thing to see crumpled on the terrace.

I think it's worth trying on the multiple bases that the RSPB estimates that around a billion birds per year die from impact with windows and that they also reduce the likelihood of a human/glass interaction and they don't cost much.
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Old 10.11.2006, 13:40
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

maybe they're there not for the birds but for the people
(and are also a 'natural' image, not too displeasing to the eye, compared to what kind of stickers you could put on windows...)

My Dad recently seriously put his back out walking into a glass patio door he thought was open (my mum had just closed and cleaned it) <ouch>

.... anyone know where I can buy these silhouette stickers to send to my folks?!
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Old 10.11.2006, 16:47
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

Quote:
I think this is the funniest post I have ever read...
Glad you enjoyed it. I think it's espcially amusing that it was my mom who decided we should get it stuffed. My dad thought the idea was a bit morbid. Of course, it was a few months before a trip to the taxidermist happened, so if one of us kids was sent downstairs to bring up something from the freezer, inevitably we'd come across said dead bird in our rummaging. We were always tempted to bring it upstairs as a joke: "Here's the chicken, mom!", but never actually did it.
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Old 11.11.2006, 16:16
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

Quote:
I'm sure all of you have seen the bird silhouettes on glass in Switzerland. I wondered why I had only seen this pheonomenon here. As there are birds, and glass buildings in every country. Either that people care more about birds here, or the birds are more stupid here, or as my Swiss friend offered. He thinks that birds in England wear crash helmets- still don't buy that.

In my research I came upon this website. Saying it is a global problem, and more birds die in the US than in a major oil spill every day.

Why is it then, when I lived in London I never saw deads birds on the floor , or even slightly dazed pigeons? Where on earth can they get these figures from?

Has anyone witnessed a bird flying into their window?

I have actually had a nightmare about this with birds halfway through windows and bus shelters.. but im still not giving up the cheese

http://www.windowcollisions.info/

I think birds are simply more stupid here

I always wondered why the Swiss put up those bird decals on the windows and I asked a half-Swiss friend one day as I was in a restaurant (having seen a few on the window).

I scoffed when she explained it was to stop birds flying into them and pointed out that we didn't have them back home and I'd never seen a bird fly into a window. About 2 minutes later ... a bird flew into the window.


Gav
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Old 11.11.2006, 17:33
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

One day I was in Phillidelphia and was crossing a busy street. When I came to the other side (this isn't a chicken joke) there was a small crowd around a little bird. When I asked someone nearby what was up, she said that it had just flown into the window of the skyskraper nearest us and had tumbled to a bumpy landing. Someone had set down a glass of water and the girl that I spoke with crumbled her scone on the ground for it. The bird happily ate the crumbs.
Then an employee came out of the coffee shop we were all standing in front of.
"That wiley bird" She said "I don't know if it's the same one, but this happens every morning. The bird has a bumpy landing, people give it food, and then it flies away."

I really wonder, how stupid are birds really? Does Alfred Hitchcock know? And would Americans really allow their corner offices to be defiled with tacky eco-friendly stickers?
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Old 11.11.2006, 18:04
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

We had a sparrow fly into our window a few weeks ago. It was stunned for a few minutes, tipping it`s head back and opening it`s beak wide like it was giving the most almighty scream. It was quite traumatic to watch but it eventually flew away. We`ve had quite a few birds hit the windows and it`s not like they`re ever really clean! Also had a sparrow down the chimney - fortunately the glass door thing was closed.
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Old 12.11.2006, 00:47
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

As a kid my grandad gave me two fire finches. I had a lovely cage in the livingroom and they were my pets. One day as i let them fly,they flew to the windows, one broke it's neck and the other it's leg. From that day on i never wanted to be the owner of a bird in a cage.

Who spent half her holiday money in Thailand letting birds out of cages.
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Old 12.11.2006, 13:01
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

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Who spent half her holiday money in Thailand letting birds out of cages.
Hopefully not in Thai Living rooms
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Old 14.11.2006, 18:35
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Re: Bird Silhouettes on Glass

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Who spent half her holiday money in Thailand letting birds out of cages.
I was once pursued by the Iranian police after the friend I was with decided to destroy a wild bird seller's stuff and free all of the birds. He was a murderer on parole and bigger than 12 ordinary men and had a heart as soft as his head.

He wanted to buy all of the birds and release them, and I said "but then this guy will have made money and be motivated to catch more" So I ended up on the run. That will teach me.
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