I dashed upstairs and came face-to-face with a ghost bird.
Well, it was the image of a ghost at least. The near-perfect silhouette of a Mourning Dove was etched onto our picture window.
Another window strike. This is a too-common way for birds to meet their end. It's estimated that millions of birds die each year when they smash into windows. Exact numbers are impossible to tabulate.
At our feeding station, the common precipitate for window strikes is the resident Cooper's Hawk, or his associate, a Red-shouldered Hawk that's also been working the area with frequency. I can't blame the hawks, they have to eat, too. When one of the raptors flies in, or over, it's mayhem at the feeders; birds take off in all directions, and our large picture window reflects an escape route into the forest.
What to do?
Birding buddies Pat and Karin found a solution to the window-strike problem at their home. Over the years they tried several devices that were not acceptable, i.e. screening devices that cut the viewing of birds to an unacceptable level.
Pat discovered the Acopian Bird Savers, a clever array consisting of single dark-colored nylon cords hung vertically a few inches in front of the outside window glass. These nylon cords are spaced about four inches apart across the horizontal width of the window.
The idea is, birds used to flying through the woods can avoid branches. The presumption is, they recognize these dark nylon cords as dark branches. The Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College and Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr. developed and refined this tactic using field tests in a wooded opening in a Pennsylvania forest. It's good science. The result was the nylon-corded windows reduced window strikes by upwards of 90 percent compared with unprotected windows.
If you’d like to save the lives of more than a few birds, here are a couple links to explore:
Now, to get that ghostly image off the window, I’ll need the stepladder, the glass cleaner, the … Or, I could just call GhostBusters!