Our previous house in the States was a run-of-the-mill ranch house with standard size windows. Here, Costa Rica’s natural beauty and mountainous terrain begs you to soak up the views and that often means big glass. A drawback to living in glass houses (besides cleaning the windows) is the toll they take on the wild birds. Even vanilla glass makes nearly perfect reflections of the sky and forest that birds see as just that until they go ka-whump into the pane (sad pun I know).
Worse yet, having your glass tinted and/or reflective is not uncommon in sunny climes, making the reflections even more realistic. We have “reflectiva” glass on the sunny side and “bronce” (tinted) on the other side of our house. Both sides get bird hits, though far more on the reflective side. About a quarter of the birds are killed instantly, another quarter is dazed and most recover; the rest bounce off and we have no way of knowing if they survive or not.
I’d say on average up to a dozen birds a week were smacking into the glass. One time we had 5 hits in a single day, nearly all fatal, and that was that. I dug through some still unpacked boxes and found some flash tape, which I strung just below the second story windows on the sunny side.
Dramatic improvement! We’re down to about 1 bird hitting a window every couple of days and only one fatality since the tape went up. I put up another tape on the other side of the house (and quite ironically a small Blue Dacnis hit the window while I was doing that and fell dead onto my shoulder!) and that has been quite effective, also.
Another idea we had, but haven’t tried, is to get those one-way picture films that you often see on the rear windows of cars or sometimes storefronts. Not sure what those cost, but the wife and I couldn’t agree on what the picture should be, bikini-clad models (my idea!) or something more in tune with nature. [GRIN]
The link here is to a short video of the flash tape in action. It only takes the slightest breeze to get it to do its trick.