April 12, 2013

Bird-safe glass installed

See article in The Reading Eagle

We recently installed at our newly-renovated Education Building the product called CollidEscape, a window coating that provides privacy, makes the glass visible to birds, and allows you an unobstructed view to the outdoors. The product can be ordered with any graphics, but Hawk Mountain obted for subtlety so we didn't detract from the building. The final design splashes a view of trees across the building, and the end is result is wonderful.

Other Products to Help Save Birds
We hope you agree, and if you're looking for other products, we share examples of three types at the Visitor Center: Acopian Bird Savers, static cling decals and netting. The Acopian Bird Savers are great because you can make them yourself, and the website offers easy how-to instruction and the option to purchase. We also use the Bird Savers on all windows at our Acopian Center for Conservation Learning

CollidEscape is more costly, but provides a clear view, should that meet your needs. Due to the number of windows and the intricate design, we opted for a professional installation.

Static cling decals may be the easiest to apply, are moderately priced and available in our Bookstore. According to research by Dr. Dan Klem at Muhlenburg, you must space your decals every four inches to cover enough glass surface and be effective. Many vendors sell decals and they come in a variety of designs. Of course we use raptor silhouettes at Hawk Mountain, but any shape will do, and they are great for windows that can only be reached from the inside.

Fine mesh netting or screening is great because it doesn't obstruct the view, but netting must be stretched taut at least two inches away from window glass. You can buy screening that can be applied with suction cups to the outside of windows at This product also helps protect territorial birds that strike at their own reflection.

Birds and Glass: A Deadly Combo
Millions of birds die each year in the United States from deadly collisions with windows. Some sources suggest you move feeders away from windows where strikes are occurring, but based on his years of research, our friend and bird-glass expert Dr. Dan Klem, Jr. recommends you keep feeders within four feet of windows to prevent kills. Doing so brings the birds too close to hit the glass at high speeds. If that's not possible, stand outside and look at your windows. If you can see through, birds can, too, and they may fly at top speed in an attempt to reach an unknown destination. Similarly, if you see reflection, the birds will as well, and won't see the barrier of glass.

To learn more, see a list of articles by Dr. Dan Klem, Jr, or see an overview on the topic at American Bird Conservancy website.

Helping dazed birds
If a bird hits your window and is dazed, you can help by carefully placing it inside a cardboard box. This will provide the bird protection from prey, and the darkness will calm the bird until it revives, usually just a few minutes. Release the bird as soon as it recovers. 

Education Building Grand Opening
Tour our newly renatived Education Building on Saturday, July 13, during our grand opening celebration. We'll have a full day of education programs, as well as a noon-time dedication and the chance to tour the building and see our bird-friendly windows. Hope to see you there!

Alvin H. Butz, Inc