Nature Matters: reducing bird versus window deaths

By KBJR News 1

December 17, 2013 Updated Dec 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
Firefighters often get teased about getting cats out of trees but last week in downtown Duluth, they had to rescue a long eared owl from an office building window.
The bird hit the window dead on.

"It was being chased by crows and being harassed and that happens but the problem was that the bird saw the window which has a reflective surface and saw clouds and sky and trees." said Wildwoods volunteer Jan Conley.

After rescue the Duluth Fire Department, the long eared owl was taken to Wildwoods Animal Rehab.
It died a day later.

"At least fifty percent of birds that hit a window will die later on." said Conley.

Window collisions are a common cause of death for owls.
Hartley Nature Center has a recent victim.

"This is a northern saw–whett owl that collided into a window." said Ashley Hrabe of Hartley Nature Center.

Ornithologists calculate that at least 100–million birds of all species die in America every year after tangling with windows.

"Bird backers tell us that simple stickers like this do make a difference." said reporter Dave Anderson.

Stickers, especially new ultraviolet ones, make birds steer clear.

"You can't see it as a human but for a bird it lights up really well." said Hrabe.

Bird protection for those with an artistic streak can be bought with washable crayons.

"You can make designs on windows like lines and squiggles and the birds will see these at the last minute." said Conley.

Wildwoods volunteer Jan Conley uses the crayons on her place.

"These things do not have to be expensive. What we use for our windows costs five dollars." said Conley.

In Duluth for Nature Matters, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

Other options for repelling birds from windows include specially etched panes and ultraviolet window wrap.