The Passion Trap

It's this time of the year again. I'm hearing the happy songs of birds when I ride my bike to work or when I go out into the garden. More visitors come to the baths, and there's a palpable sense of excitement in the air. But then, a week or two ago, again, the dreaded -- Thud!

Another bird, too excited to understand that our sun room is made of glass and does not offer a convenient shortcut in pursuit of a rival or a potential date, had hit his head. Fortunately, this time it appeared to have been at an almost safe speed, and I did not have to watch and wait for a half hour before a somewhat shaky recovery was complete and my feathered friend fluttered, somewhat drunkenly, to the nearest tree. I did not have to pick up a corpse either - as I'd had to do with the goldfinch two years ago.

I've gotten better at making the windows look like windows. The sun facing large windows of the sun room have butterfly decals. These decals are supposed to be visible only to birds, but I find they are still visible to the human eye - sorry, the advertising is exaggerating just a bit. But they're not too obnoxious, and they've really helped.

For the windows in the shade, I resorted once again to the prayer flag solution. I'd used small prayer flags for the upstairs window before we got blinds there - and when I mentioned my intention for the sunroom windows to a friend. she offered a set of small flags that she could not use but that were a perfect fit for those windows.

From the inside, they charmingly frame the view of the garden. The flags are only about 2 inch square each, so they don't block the view too much.

From the outside, I'm hoping that it's now much clearer to my feathered friends that they're approaching a room, and that a shortcut is not just impolite, the laws of physics will be against it.

Here's wishing an early Happy Valentine's Day to everyone - and remember, no shortcuts!


Birds would love little signboards like " sharp turn ahead, access closed, junctions...." ....have a nice day.
I hate hearing that characteristic 'thud'. I had a Hermit Thrush, and a Sooty Fox Sparrow, try to short cut through our dining room last year. In the years we've been here, those are the only birds we've been aware of that have stunned themselves. Like yours, no permanent harm was done, but it's always nerve-wracking to go outside and see a bird with its head on upside down, and wings sprawled on the ground. I stopped washing my windows, but that didn't seem to help much. I have tried decals, to varying effect, but maybe I'll give them a whirl again.