Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Expert Says Glass Is Major Threat to Birds

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the fly-slower dept.

Science 170

dlkf writes "According this AP article, 'Glass is ubiquitous and it's indiscriminate, killing the fit and the unfit... estimates (are) that collisions with glass kill up to 1 billion birds a year in the United States alone.' First wind turbines and now glass. What will they come up with next..."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Heh... (2, Insightful)

DiscoOnTheSide (544139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156682)

Just like walls and other cars are a major threat to drivers, porn sites to computer geeks, and a job in the real world for all those heavily pierced freaks. I don't consider this THAT newsworthy... :) (Not Trolling, just burning some midnight karma. :))

I guess they can't cite guns... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157745)

...because not enough birds are killed by them. How long d'ya reckon it'll be before someone organises the real-world equivalent of a Google-bombing to correct that oversight?

(Cue gun-rights flamewar, grin, duck, run :-)

What you can't see... (2, Funny)

narratorDan (137402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156691)

...can't hurt you so relax Bob, and keep flying sou..[THUD!]

"Look mommy a dead parrot!"

NarratorDan

Re:What you can't see... (1)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156739)

It's not dead, it's... uh... resting!

Re:What you can't see... (2, Funny)

cujo_1111 (627504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156917)

Mr. Praline : 'Ello. I wish to register a complaint. (The owner has his back to the register and does not respond.) Mr. Praline : 'Ello, Miss?

Owner : (turning around, very angry) What do you mean, "miss"?

Mr. Praline : I'm sorry, I have a cold. (The owner nods, understanding.) I wish to make a complaint!

Owner : (hurriedly) Sorry, we're closin' for lunch...!

Mr. Praline : Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot, what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

Owner : Oh yes, the, ah, the Norwegian Blue... What's, ah... W-what's wrong with it?

Mr. Praline : I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.

Owner : No, no, 'e's ah... he's resting.

Mr. Praline : Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Owner : No no, h-he's not dead, he's, he's restin'!

Mr. Praline : Restin'?

Owner : Y-yeah, restin.' Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, isn't it, eh? Beautiful plumage!

Mr. Praline : The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead!

Owner : Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

Mr. Praline : All right then, if he's resting, I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Polly! Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you wake up, Mr. Polly Parrot... (owner hits the cage)

Owner : There, he moved!

Mr. Praline : No, he didn't, that was you pushing the cage!

Owner : I never!!

Mr. Praline : Yes, you did!

Owner : I never, never.... (He pulls the parrot out of the cage and screams into its ear.)

Mr. Praline : 'ELLO POLLAAAAAAAY! POLL-EE! POLLY PARROT! WAKE UP! (He bangs its head against the store counter, horribly hard.) TESTIIIING! TESTIIIING! THIS IS YOUR NINE-O' CLOCK ALARM CALL! (He does it again, harder.) POLL-EEEEEEE!
(He tosses it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor. Longish pause.) Now that's what I call a dead parrot.

Owner : No, no.... No, he's stunned.

Mr. Praline : STUNNED?

Owner : Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

Mr. Praline : Look my lad, I've had just about enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I bought it not half an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out after a long squawk.

Owner : Well, he's... he's, ah... probably pining for the fjords. (Praline looks angrily back and forth, stuttering.)

Mr. Praline : PININ' for the FJORDS? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?

Owner : The Norwegian Blue prefers kippin' on its back! Remarkable bird, isn't it, guv, eh? Lovely plumage!

Mr. Praline : (coldly) Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there. (pause)

Owner : Well, of course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its little pecker, and VOOM!

Mr. Praline : "VOOM?" (Praline puts the cage down and take the parrot into his hands.)

Mr. Praline : Look matey, this parrot wouldn't "voom" if you put four thousand volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!

Owner : It's not! I-It's pining!

Mr. Praline : It's not pinin,' it's passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! It's hopped the twig! It's shuffled off this mortal coil! It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This.... is an EX-PARROT! (pause)

Re:What you can't see... (1)

Casshan-Robot Hunter (705420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161423)

Mr. Praline: A pallendrome? The pallendrome of Bolton would be NOTLOB!!!

(for those of you that watch the flying circus)

Legislation is the answer (4, Funny)

Catskul (323619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156698)

Ban Glass !
The greedy Glass manufacturing Corperations are out to ruin our envrionment !.

Protect Birds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8156704)

Give them somewhere to sit [rotten.com] .

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157232)

Oh yes! Thankyou very much for the obligatory penis bird link.

And of course (-1, Troll)

Zerth (26112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156708)

Any discussion of birds and their tendancy to suicide on windows needs a reference to the first recorded case of homosexual duck necrophilia [www.nmr.nl]

Ummm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8156790)

...that's great. *Looks around uncomfortably*

Re:And of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157260)

Damn good troll. I could not have moderated it as such though. The duck did fly into the glass, so definitely on topic. It wasn't funny. Kinda informative. Was quite interesting to me - as I had no idea ducks did that, but at least it gave me a good idea of why that duck was flying so hard as to kill himself on impact.

I wonder if thats why my two tomcats seem to have such conniptions when a certain feral tom comes calling.

I guess if I had something like that happen to me, I might kill myself inadvertantly on the glass door at the quickie mart.

and killing birds is bad... why? (0, Troll)

jerde (23294) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156722)

I hate birds.

- Peter

Re:and killing birds is bad... why? (1)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156881)

I hate birds as well. But, the birds in my neighborhood know I hate them. Hundreds of them fill the trees near my front porch. Sometimes, it gets uncomfortably like the Hitchcock movie. Thanks to those vile creatures, I'm building a garage for my cars this summer. But now that I've been informed, I'll use as much clear glass as I can. Make that plexiglass instead.

Re:and killing birds is bad... why? (5, Funny)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157114)

I dunno. I love birds. A little bbq sauce, an open flame, delicious.

Imagine the bird killing power of... (1, Funny)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156723)

A Beowulf cluster of glass!

Wait, that's called a "building". Never mind.

Really (-1, Offtopic)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156725)

How interesting. Now perhaps we could have some IT related news. Thanks.

Natural alarm clock (2, Funny)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156726)

I used to have a bird that crashed into my window every morning at 6:30 sharp. Then one day it stopped. I wondered if it moved but I guess it died.

not much can be done about this (3, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156736)

The problem, of course, is not the glass; it's this pesky desire of ours to have transparent artificial barriers as part of our dwellings---something which will not go away.

Much of the time, my sympathies lie mostly with the animals; but in this case, they're kinda on their own. Survival of the fittest...

May they all live long enough to have more sex than I do...

(Which leads me to a deep thought: right now, at this very moment, millions (billions?) of creatures are having sex. None of them are me.)

Goddamn I need sleep...

Re:not much can be done about this (3, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156796)

Here in Austria we have the shadows of predator birds on most glass stuff that the goverment puts up. Not on houses or buildings but on highway dividers and bus stops and things like that. I supose it helps, but I really don't know.

Re:not much can be done about this (2, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156830)

Here in Austria we have the shadows of predator birds on most glass stuff that the goverment puts up.
Oh what, the glass isn't enough? You trying to kill all the birds by giving them heart attacks too?! How cruel can you get?!

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157178)

That way it is survial of the 'fittest'!

Only the strong hearted birds live!

Re:not much can be done about this (4, Funny)

cujo_1111 (627504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156920)

Do you have anything to stop the kangaroos too? :)

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

Richard A Lake (661369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157051)

Wrong country it's Australia that has kangaroos not Austria

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

selfsealingstembolt (590231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157076)

We have thought after Arnie becoming governor in California you Americans would know Austria, at least a little. Reading a word until it ends, really really difficult ...

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157135)

Uh, judging by the grandparent poster's URL, something tells me he knows the difference quite well.

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157173)

Funny, I don't live that far from the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium!

We do have shirts for kids: "Austria: We don't have any kangaroos!"

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

Mark Pitman (1610) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160427)

I would bet that most people in the US think he is from Germany.

It's outside of the USA, end of story. (-: (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157874)

But... I bet the Austrians have some kangaroos [news.com.au] tucked away in a zoo somewhere, to satisfy tourists who mistype their destinations. I know we've got the odd [castleonhill.com] stone [cairnsattractions.com] castle [reefrainfrst.com] tucked away in case the misreading goes the other way. (-:

Owls... lots of owls. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157398)

Here in Austria we have the shadows of predator birds on most glass stuff that the goverment puts up.

Same here in America - at least in Florida and New Jersey. When I'm in states I don't live in, my eyes are on other issues so I woudn't recall seeing fake predator birds there. Owls.. lots of owls. Usually life size, life colored, realistically placed.

Re:not much can be done about this (3, Insightful)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156852)

The problem, of course, is not the glass; it's this pesky desire of ours to have transparent artificial barriers as part of our dwellings---something which will not go away.

You're right--it won't go away. Just like that pesky desire to pollute or to take over all arable land. However, desires can be curbed, and it is a mark of civilization that we do curb our desires and don't live out every one of them.

In the case of glass, there are plenty of architectural ways in which we can have brightly lit dwellings with gorgeous views without creating traps for birds.

Much of the time, my sympathies lie mostly with the animals; but in this case, they're kinda on their own. Survival of the fittest...

Humans are fittest, for now, so, yes, we can kill off all other (large) animals. Trouble is, in the long run, that is not an adaptive strategy for us: we are dependent on a functioning environment. So, what you suggest, namely not worrying about the survival of animals, is, in the long run, maladaptive for us: it will bring about our own extinction.

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157102)

In the case of glass, there are plenty of architectural ways in which we can have brightly lit dwellings with gorgeous views without creating traps for birds.

I'm interested do you have any links for this?

Re:not much can be done about this (3, Insightful)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157429)

The article itself talked about some alternatives. In fact, that was the point of the article: it didn't say "no more glass", it said "let's make an effort to make glass more bird-safe". Other alternatives I have seen are silhouettes of predators, nets, screens [birdscreen.com] , careful gardening, and various patterned reflective coatings on the outside.

Of course, simply having vertical blinds, Venitian blinds, or sheer curtains on the inside will probably already reduce the problem: they look like a solid surface from the outside but stil give you a good view from the inside. Even bug screens probably make windows a little more visible and less reflective from the outside and cushion any collision.

I suspect birds hitting windows is mostly a problem with modern office buildings, where there is lots of glass, plenty of energy-efficient (=mirror-like) outside coatings, no curtains, and no bug screens.

Just do what my grandmother does (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160050)

She used to have a real problem with the neighborhood birds picking on her cat and stealing its food. So she goes to one of those "Everything 99 Cents" sh8tholes and picks up a long cord of cheap bright yellow tinsel, the kind you'd spiral around a Christmas tree. She takes that tinsel and wraps it all over her porch railings- up and down around and around, so that it's everywhere. I don't know how much the neighbors' property values suffer but it sure keeps the birds away. It's almost as if they have taste. They don't want to be seen anywhere near that stuff.

Re:not much can be done about this (2, Funny)

cujo_1111 (627504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156902)

May they all live long enough to have more sex than I do...

That may not be really all that long you know... you are a nerd after all :)

Windows are good (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159977)

Windows are good (at least this meaning of "windows"... hehe). Would you rather live in a windowless box without any natural light ever or have holes in the walls with wind, rain and sometimes snow coming in?

I guess it'd be ok to complain about glass that's not for seeing through but is just decorative like on some skyscrapers...

Re:Windows are good (1)

Demodian (658895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8162191)

...without any natural light ever...

We are nerds, remember? We don't need natural light!

Re:not much can be done about this (1)

Debillitatus (532722) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161396)

(Which leads me to a deep thought: right now, at this very moment, millions (billions?) of creatures are having sex. None of them are me.)

Of course not. You're reading slashdot. ;-)

In Other News... (3, Funny)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156804)


Eating a leading cause of Heart Disease, Wisconsin man discovers that a red cape will not let you fly, Running full force into a wall "really DOES hurt" according to Arkansas resident, and Kids say the cutest things!!
yeesh.

Sera

What of it (3, Interesting)

gnalre (323830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156824)

So do domestic cats. What of it.

Call it evolution in action

Re:What of it (1)

floydigus (415917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157060)

Yes, cats do kill birds. In fact, they are much more of a threat to birds than glass is.

Many of us will have seen several, if not dozens of birds killed by cats. How many have you seen killed by glass? Personally, I have seen maybe 1 or 2 in my lifetime.

Evolution in action? If several whole species get completely wiped out from an ecosystem, then I wouldn't call that evolution.

Oh. My. God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157261)

Evolution in action? If several whole species get completely wiped out from an ecosystem, then I wouldn't call that evolution.

Were they here to do it, I suspect the dinosaurs might be able to pursuade you otherwise.

Re:What of it (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157410)

Why not? Evolution can apply to ecosystems as a whole, not just individual species. A stronger species will dominate over a weaker species, and the weaker species will wane into oblivion. Let's call it an increase in net fitness.

Re:What of it (1)

floydigus (415917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158270)

By your rather heavy-handed definition, the extinctions of the Dodo, the Moa and the passenger pigeon are all the result of evolution.
After all, the stupid birds should have just evolved kevlar feathers.

Putting glass in the flight path of birds is not going to make birds evolve because (one can safely assume) none of them have the advantage of being able to identify and steer clear of glass.

Re:What of it (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159478)

By your rather heavy-handed definition, the extinctions of the Dodo, the Moa and the passenger pigeon are all the result of evolution. After all, the stupid birds should have just evolved kevlar feathers.
And he's exactly right. Evolution of species happens largely because of environmental pressures. Plenty of food? Species get bigger. Not much food? Species get smaller. Humans put enormous evolutionary pressure on many species. Those that adapt quickly do well (common pigeons). The others...

Re:What of it (1)

floydigus (415917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160015)

Plenty of food? Species get bigger. Not much food? Species get smaller.
This is more true of individuals than species.

Those that adapt quickly do well (common pigeons).
As far as the rock dove is concerned, it did not have to adapt in order to live in cities because it was already well suited to the environment; these birds like buildings because they resemble cliffs and they will readily nest on the abundant ledges thereon.

Re:What of it (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160286)

Disregarding your post's minor inaccuracies for the moment, what is your point? That environmental pressures do not impact on the evolutionary development of species?

Re:What of it (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159554)

Well, it might, given a few million years to do it in. Or possibly less....Let's see...

Say one day there's a bird musical genius. This bird has a song like no other, and it instantly makes all the girl birds want to have his babies.

So this genius bird musician is flying along, calling to all the lady birds (that's birds that are ladies, not the little spotty bugs, you understand), when suddenly, WHAM, he's lying on the ground with the world spinning around and a really big lump on his head.

Now, suppose (to continue this admittedly highly unlikely chain of circumstances) that the bird, after running into the glass a few times, makes the following connection; when he's flying along, singing to all the little girl birdies, and the sound of the echos that come back to his ears from around the place change in a specific little way just before he runs into that invisible tree that's lurking around here somewhere.

If his birdie little brain doesn't get bashed into mush first, or a cat doesn't get him when he's still woozy, there might come a time when he hears that particular type of reflection and ducks. Thereby avoiding the pane of glass, that is. Not by turning into some semi-aquatic member of the avis family that they don't like to talk about because well, he's quackers.

So, to continue, then...if he then teaches it to all his birds, um, girl bird-friends, no, bird girl-friends, and they teach it to their chicks (baby birds that is, not some kind of weird girl bird-on-bird girl thing) and that's a, well at least, it could be loosely termed as some form of evolution.

Then you get the mutant birds with really high voices, who get clearer echos and don't run into so many windows, give it a few million years of positive feedback and oh look, it's a bird that uses sonar...

'Course, I could just be going out on a limb here.

Re:What of it (1)

greenhide (597777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159904)

As far as I understand it, there aren't that many species that actually can teach each other things like this.

Also, from what I've seen written, birds don't actually last that long after they've hit a window. It messes them up pretty bad. They probably make it to a tree somewhere, where they keel over and die.

This is, incidentally, the whole point of the article -- that birds are dying, not that they're getting massive headaches.

Re:What of it (1)

Kobal (597997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160017)

I've seen quite a few birds killing themselves on a window. I'd admit it's quite a funny sight, but the envirofreaks will mod me down if I do.
On the other hand, it's not quite as funny as seeing one crashing on a wall. A friend of mine once simply pointed with his arm at a couple of doves and shouted "Bang". One of the silly birds deviated from its course and hit straight on a nearby concrete wall, without any kind of windows.
This was the first and only time I've seen someone killing something simply by mimicking a gun. It also makes me thinks that using less glass wouldn't help much: the pea-brained beasties are so stupid they'd crash into anything, anyway.

So do domestic cats (1)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157121)

Sometimes it's a bit of both. We used to have a cunning but lazy cat who would camp out under the big window, and pounce on the stunned birds that occasionally flew into it.

Neighbour's used to catch crows (ravens in .uk) (2, Interesting)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157905)

This was twenty-odd years ago, in Paraburdoo. Cat would pretend to be dead, lying in the hot, hot sun until a crow got to the point of actually reaching out to have just a little... BLAM! rude shock. Same cat would regularly beat up and chase away quite large dogs. Never seemed to fight with ours, though.

Re:Neighbour's used to catch crows (ravens in .uk) (1)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159327)

Ravens are different from crows. They're, like, jumbo-size crows.

Or did you mean that your neighbours cat would generally catch crows, exccept when it was in the UK, when it would go for the ravens?

Re:What of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157138)

Call it evolution in action

Exactly. "Indiscriminately killing the fit and unfit" is a crock of shit. The ones that get killed are by definition unfit for their environment. The ones that have certain traits that make them less prone to slamming into glass will reproduce more than those that don't, and after a while, the population as a whole will be less prone to breaking their necks on windows.

Re:What of it (0, Offtopic)

kawika (87069) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157705)

Cats? What about other birds? I live on the edge of a park and there is a red-tailed hawk that I am convinced is taking advantage of the glass on our building. Every week or two I will here the plonk of a bird hitting the window. Twice I have looked out and seen that hawk swoop down and grab the stunned bird.

iPods Murder (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8156832)

iPods kill a lot of beaver.

Birds? (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156858)

What about people? Doesn't everybody here have at least one relative/friend who this has happened to?

In any event, this doesn't affect me. My cats will take down anything within a 100-ft radius of the house, so my windows stay thud-free.

No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157568)

My dad was walking out of a store once and didn't use the door... they had just washed the windows and he had just taken off his glasses... The glass shattered and he still has scars down the front of his thighs...

Re:No kidding (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158357)

That's my point. Encounters like that range from the embarrasing all the way up to 'scarred for life with impaired mobility'.

Thankfully, a low-tech solution is available - just put a damn sticker on the glass on or about average eye level. Works every time.

Re:Birds? News? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159212)

What about people? Doesn't everybody here have at least one relative/friend who this has happened to?

Some years ago, one of the tasts that I had involved occasionally delivering some equipment for events at a nearby synagogue. The only place to park and unload was next to a glass wall that had two glass doors. One evening, when backing out in the dark, I didn't notice that the door was still open. Crunch!

The next day, when I went in to talk to the rabbi about it, first his secretary and then he laughed loudly. They had both done exactly the same thing.

Eventually they faced the problem, and put some highly-reflective stickers on the inside of the door. It looked unaesthetic from the inside, which was the main hall. But it ended the problem of a broken door every few months.

In any event, it's a bit odd to see a "news" story about problems with birds flying into glass. If you look at any birding mag from the past century, you'll find ads for stickers (mostly outlines of predatory birds like owls or falcons) to keep birds away. This has been a well-known problem ever since sheet glass was developed.

When the first "glass tower" skyscrapers started getting built back in the late 40's, there were stories about how a new task for the janatorial crew was to pick up the dead birds from the sidewalks.

So how did this get passed off as news?

Birds and windows (5, Informative)

moorhens (564268) | more than 10 years ago | (#8156922)

First, a billion birds sounds like an over-estimate, but even if it isn't it probably won't make any serious difference to any bird populations. Every year, most birds die, which is why they need to raise lots of young to keep going at all. Previous studies of birds vs windows, birds vs traffic, birds vs cats generally show that those that die are effectively part of the natural surplus rather than this being new deaths. Not much comfort for the individual bird, but hey.

Secondly, most birds that conservationists (and yes, we are as scientific and geeky as the average /. er) are really worried about don't live in built-up areas so the impact with glass is likely to be less of a problem.

Thirdly, window stickers (especially those shaped like a hawk) can sharply reduce the level of impacts especially against windows that look like a fly-through to somewhere else.

And finally, when you find a bird that hit a window, someone will say it's broken its neck. Not so. Birds' necks are much longer and more flexible than most people realise until they see a lolling corpse. The commonest cause of death against a window is brain haemorrage.

Re:Birds and windows (1)

theaphila (56090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157582)

> Secondly, most birds that conservationists ... are really worried about don't live in built-up areas so the impact with glass is likely to be less of a problem.

in cambridge (ma), some hawks have moved in, and occasionally fall for diving into glass. perhaps they are worried about the re-introduction of such species into urban areas.

Re:Birds and windows (1)

moorhens (564268) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159034)

So far as I know, the hawks moving into urban areas in both the US and Britain are only doing so either as a result of habitats elsewhere being screwed up (eg by changes in land management), or where they have filled up available wild habitats. So, perversely, if there are enough hawks around for people to notice them colliding with windows, that could be pretty good news. To a peregrine, an office block with associated pigeons is structurally so similar to a sea cliff full of seabirds that going urban makes sense.

Re:Birds and windows (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159281)

...when you find a bird that hit a window, someone will say it's broken its neck. Not so. Birds' necks are much longer and more flexible than most people realise until they see a lolling corpse. The commonest cause of death against a window is brain haemorrage.

Oh, that makes me feel so much better.

I've known this for years... (1)

lxt (724570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157036)

...there's a big 6ft by 10ft glass pane in my house - at least once a month a bird (normally a pidgeon) whacks into it, normally either breaking a load of bones (in which case a guy from the RSPB comes round), or dies instantly. Once I've returned home to find the pane completely cracked with a duck lying in the grass...

Re:I've known this for years... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157423)

So patch it up with duck tape. Yuk yuk yuk!!

Re:I've known this for years... (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157432)

You think a duck is bad? Just wait till you hear "Fetcher la vache!"

flamingoes (1)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157786)

birds can get pretty big [distant.ca] you know. even if you exclude ones that don't fly. of course it's probably got something to do with the beak.

Re:flamingoes (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157992)

Wow... I've heard of seacows, but aircows? That's just getting ridiculous.

/ME waves from Oz... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157928)

...happy that emus don't fly. (-:

easy to fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8162425)

If you continue to have that problem you might look at fixing it :) Seriously just a couple of stickers will keep birds from hitting your windows. They used to run into the building here until they but them up (they look like silhouettes of swooping birds) and they stopped. Cheap and nonintrusive.

Another reason not to use Windows! (5, Funny)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157249)

..."smart" birds avoid running Windows ;)

Ron

New bumper sticker (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157321)

Slashdot story from the Mysterious Future:

"Glass manufacturers release new bumper sticker: Glass doesn't kill birds, I kill birds!"

Not the glass... (0, Troll)

snakattak (592921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157431)

Its the WINDEX that people use! Lets be considerate people and not clean our windows, that way birds don't have to die meaninglessly.

Insects too (1, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157495)

A dozen times a day flying insects bang (surprisingly loudly) into my office windows.
Don't know how many get killed by it, though.

Re:Insects too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159566)

Why is the parent a troll? What response is he trolling for?

But the impact patterns are BEAUTIFUL! (3, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157651)

My place of employment has glassed-in corridors between buildings, some of those corridors being multi-story. They have solved the bird problem by placing stick-on silhouettes of some sort of predatory bird, one on every other pane, or so. I haven't seen or heard of a collision, since.

But back when they were happening, the birds left a beautiful dust pattern on the windows as they hit. It captured incredible levels of detail to the feathers, etc.

uh huh (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157756)

This is just another excuse for my neighbor who "loves animals" to not remove the half-inch layer of dirt from her windows.

Re:uh huh (1)

Red Rocket (473003) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159419)


This is just another excuse for my neighbor who "loves animals" to not remove the half-inch layer of dirt from her windows.

Why do you care how much dirt is on your neighbor's window?
Are you the neighborhood cleanliness enforcer or the neighborhood peeping tom?

hard-headed Black Woodpecker (2, Interesting)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157861)

A year ago I heard a big bang and found a dazzled rare (at least in my neck of the woods) Black Woodpecker [kerihuel.free.fr] on the ground. I managed to grab it before the cat did, held it in my hands for 5 minutes letting it come to its senses and let it fly away.

The bird probably survived because woodpeckers should be well equipped to deal with head-shocking events.

It's not often that you get to see these birds close up, not to mention hold them and quitely look at them. Quite an experience.

Gee, we've killed about all of the preditors (1)

Halvard (102061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157925)

I think that pretty much says it all. Stew on that.

News@11... (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158083)

Seriously though, birds are particularly prone to hitting glass (and buildings) in areas of high light pollution (like New York) -- many scientific studies have been done on this -- see The Fatal Light Awareness Program [flap.org] and the ODP for general light-pollution info [dmoz.org] .

Re:News@11... (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159249)

You call it a 'scientific' study as if that'll make anyone care.

Next (1)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158792)

What will they come up with next? Uh... airplanes?

The obvious answer (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158945)

Stop using windows! (the glass kind) There by increasing the amount of lights you need to use in the house (esp. in the summer time) and increasing power consumption!

Great googly moogly

One hit per hour (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159040)

Moved back to the countryside while I'm looking for a job. My parents feed the birds and about once an hour one of them runs into the window of the room where I'm typing this, knocks himself out and gets eaten by the cat / crow / hawk that happened to pass first.

But there are still plenty of those species. I'm more worried about some that have utterly disapeared in the 15 years I was away: no more swallows for instance. Global warming or excessive use of bug spray ?

Re:One hit per hour (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159204)

Are you suggesting that global warming has disrupted the swallows' migration patterns?

Don't worry, they'll be back... and they'll hopefully bring plenty of coconuts with them.

Not just birds - deer too (1)

Discoflamingo13 (90009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159077)

One of my neighbors had a 200-lb buck break through a sliding glass door into their living room, stomp around for a bit (spraying arterial blood over pretty much everything), and promptly leave. They think he might have been attracted by a miniature orange tree in their house. The buck died from blood loss about 10 feet from their house. They added curtains and a bunch of distracting plants in about a week.

Moral of the story - if people want to fix the problem of things hitting glass, they'll probably need a strong incentive - like having to replace most of their carpet and furniture because it is thoroughly saturated in deer blood.

Re:Not just birds - deer too (1)

falzer (224563) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159571)

> The buck died from blood loss about 10 feet from their house.

Hey, free deer.

Re:Not just birds - deer too (1)

Discoflamingo13 (90009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159718)

Well, it was in Wisconsin - the sheriff tagged it, and they made sausage out of it.

small potatos (0, Offtopic)

hal9000 (80652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159137)

"[Ornithologist Daniel Klem] estimates that only habitat destruction kills more birds [than flying into glass]."

Err... other than the bird slaughtering industry I presume? Eight billion chickens and a quarter billion turkeys are slaughtered annually by the poultry industry in the US.

Source: 2003 poultry stats from the US Dept of Agriculture [cornell.edu]
(page 5)

Dilbert Cartoon (0)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159917)

Reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon where a bird complains about the "forcefield" that is really a Window.

PETA (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160054)

PETA [peta.org] will have a field day with this. I pop over to their site every once in a while to get a good laugh. Sensationalism as its best!

PETA=People eating tasty animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8161756)

Ho Ho

what about the birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160494)

(wont somebody please think of the birds?)

Where are the bodies? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160682)

If 1,000,000,000 birds are killed each year in the USA where are all the bodies? I think someone would have noticed...

Not the who story (1)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161582)

Remember that 1,000,000,000 dead birds means 1,000,000,000 easy meals for birds that know how to avoid windows. The ones that hit my greenhouse rarely last through the day before other critters, including birds, leave nothing but a pile of feathers.

For animals, an increase in the food supply usually means increased reproduction. So does this really have any impact on the birds population, or is it an increase in turnover?

Not necessarily the fittest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8162070)

I agree with your point. Except for the "that know how to avoid windows" assumption. Do they really know how to avoid windows? Or were they simply lucky enough to avoid windows on that day? If the latter, then the turnover is not assuring meals for the more fit birds. It's simply turnover.

Poem (4, Interesting)

joebok (457904) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161678)

From Pale Fire by V. Nabokov:

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane;
I was the smudge of ashen fluff--and I
Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky.
And from the inside, too, I'd duplicate
Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
Uncurtaining the night, I'd let dark glass
Hang all the furniture above the grass,
And how delightful when a fall of snow
Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
As to make chair and bed exactly stand
Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!


Great book!

Windex (1)

s2kdave (653155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8162384)

Sounds like the study is probably funded by the Windex commercials featuring birds flying into glass windows. :-)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?