As the Hunter Moon loomed over the Queen City, a horrific scene unfolded at the Nascar Hall of Fame when hundreds of birds flew full-speed into the side of the building.
At around 9pm several pedestrians began noticing an ever increasing number of Chimney Swifts flying directly into large glass windows facing East M.L.K. Boulevard.
One Charlotte resident started recording on their cell phone after they noticed the birds flying into the windows;
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue was called and they arrived on scene at roughly 11pm.
The organization said that out of the 310 birds that were found, roughly 1/3 were dead when the arrived, 1/3 had broken legs or other serious issues, and 1/3 were simply stunned and would be released into the wild shortly.
At this time, its unknown why the birds suddenly flew into the side of the building.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Up to about 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year.”
The lab recommends the following tips to homeowners who want to avoid tragic bird collisions;
- Tempera paint or soap. Mark the outside of the window with soap or tempera paint, which is inexpensive and long lasting. You can use either a grid pattern no more than 4 inches by 2 inches (see above), or get creative and paint patterns or artwork on your window.
- Decals. Put decals, stickers, sun catchers, mylar strips, masking tape, or other objects (even sticky notes) on the outside surface of the window. These are only effective when spaced very closely (see above). Note that hawk silhouettes do little to deter birds. Remember: placing just one or two window stickers on a large window is not going to prevent collisions—they must cover most of the glass with the spaces between too narrow for birds to fly through.
- Reflective BirdTape. This long-lasting tape offers an easier way to apply the correct pattern across your window. More about Reflective BirdTape.
- Acopian Bird Rods. Also known as “zen curtains,” these closely spaced rods hang down over your gutters or windows. They do the work of tape or decals but are easier to install and can be aesthetically pleasing. You can order them to fit your home or make your own.
- Screens. Installing mosquito screens over your windows is very effective, as long as they are on the outside of the window and cover the entire surface.
- Netting. Cover the glass on the outside with netting at least 3 inches from the glass, taut enough to bounce birds off before they hit. Small-mesh netting (around 5/8″ or 1.6 cm) is best, so that birds don’t get their heads or bodies entangled but will bounce off unharmed. You can mount the netting on a frame, such as a storm-window frame, for easy installation and removal.
- One-way transparent film. One-way frosted glass window film permit people on the inside to see out, but makes the window appear opaque on the outside. They can reduce the amount of light that comes in your window (this can also reduce your cooling costs).