Glass surfaces on buildings pose a significant hazard to birds since glass is both reflective and transparent, so how can it protect birds?
Why do birds fly into glass?
Birds don’t understand the concept of glass, by reflecting vegetation or sky, the glass appears to be a habitat they can fly into. They see whatever happens to be reflected and mistake the images for the real thing. Transparent glass, often found in two-sided glass lobbies or in glass railing systems, can create a similar invisible obstacle in the middle of a flight path or between habitat areas.
What is bird-friendly glass?
Windows with bird-friendly glass are designed to create ‘visual’ noise on the surface of the glass while keeping it transparent enough for humans. The ‘visual’ noise is generally visible obstacles that break up the transparent or reflective areas of the glass enough for the birds to see and avoid.
What does ‘visual’ noise look like?
Spacing the obstacles is the key. Research shows that birds will not fly through spaces less than two inches high or four inches wide, meaning to be most effective markings or coating should be spaced two inches apart horizontally, and four inches apart vertically.
What is the best bird-friendly glass option?
Bird-friendly designs may feature many different types of patterns and etchings. Deciding which to use depends on the project criteria for aesthetics, cost, and bird safety. The three most common technics to treat glass are:
- Fritted glass prints a design on the glass and is considered the most visible to the human eye. Frit patterns are an economical solution; however, they tend to obstruct the view more than some of the other solutions.
- Etched glass treats or physically etches a design on the glass to break up the translucent surface. It is moderately visible to the human eye, depending on the design.
- Ultraviolet (UV) coated glass has the least impact on human visibility and aesthetics. UV coatings provide visual markers that indicate potential obstacles for birds while humans only see in the visible light spectrum.
Where can I buy bird-safe windows?
Many window companies offer bird-safe glass options, including St. Cloud Window. Not sure what is right for your project? Our window experts at St. Cloud Window can help you find the best solution for your needs.
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