March 7, 2014

Backwards Birding

If you've been here before, you probably know I like to watch birds. Their appearance, flight, habits, nesting fascinate me. However, I find it disturbing when they fly into the windows of my house. Usually they're just momentarily stunned by the impact, rest a bit, and then go on their way. But there have been 2 or 3 deaths over the past year. Including a fatal combination of female cardinal and the picture window facing the front porch.

This picture window, and the porch beyond it, is what I see if I look up past my computer screen. This morning I was quite alarmed by a grackle clinging to the shutter framing the window. While it fluttered and explored the far reaches of the porch, all I could imagine was the poor thing crashing through the window. I suspect it was looking for a nesting place. In the fall, we replaced the lights flanking the front door, one of which was holding a nest. Perhaps the new lights aren't nest friendly?
old lights
new lights (I'm considering a paint job - color?)
abandoned nest, in the crook of the old lights, put to use by the squirrels
I'd rather not have birds cruising so close to - and into! - the window. Nor am I wild about having birds nest on the porch. We like to use the porch and prefer not to inadvertently threaten nesting birds with our mere presence. In order to encourage birds to stay away from the window and off the porch I'm going to try a bird deterrent I've seen suggested for gardens; hang old CDs along the outer edge of the porch roof to spin in the breeze and catch the sun. Apparently the bright shine from the reflective CD surface wards off birds. We shall see. Do you have any low-impact, low-effort, proven bird deterrents? 

P.S. Hanging things in the window hasn't helped. 

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