Build complex toys and simple tools
by Tony Karp
We have a bay window that points towards the tree where the bird feeders are. It seems to attract birds even though we do things like closing the blinds on the other side of the house so they can't see through.When I posted the picture of the bird strikes on Internet forums, I got all kinds of suggestions. Things like hanging old CDs, which would catch the light, putting up grids, or putting special decals outside the window.I think I may have found a better solution to this problem.
Last year, I bought two flamingos, intending to install them somewhere outside my house in an effort to give some color to the property. While I was pondering where to put them, I decided they'd look nice in the bay window in our dining room. And they did add a colorful note.
A few months later, I noticed that there hadn't been a single bird strike to the window. It was still bright and clean. And this was the window that had formerly been a bird magnet. My theory is that the flamingos are keeping the birds at a distance. Their bright pink color makes them highly visible.Most of the other solutions to the bird-strike problem use linear thinking, and most have little success. My solution tries a different approach. As birds fly around, they have very little time to appreciate the subtleties of their environment that most bird-proofing solutions require. Bright pink, on the other hand, stands out from the rest of the noise that birds see. In addition, the short distance between the flamingos makes the apparent size of the window seem smaller and more difficult to navigate. I don't think that the birds here in Northern Virginia have ever seen a flamingo, so they're not reacting to a specific bird. What they're seeing is two bright-pink shapes and that sounds a warning that makes them stay away.I'm not trying to deter them -- I'm trying to scare them.
So, if you're looking for a way to prevent bird strikes, This may be something to try. It'll certainly liven up your windows. If you don't happen to have flamingos, you probably get the same results with another bright pink object.Just remember, you heard it here first.
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