Dangers for Birds
Windows on residential homes and city skyscrapers can be deadly to birds and every year many birds come into bird rescue centres after having hit windows. Indeed research indicates that daytime window collisions with low-level structures account for anywhere from one hundred million to one billion bird fatalities--of both migrant and resident species--in the United States each year. What is more any single, tall building could be killing 2,000 birds a year. The research has also shown that these collisions occur during all seasons, all times of day and with windows facing any direction. There are no figures available for New Zealand but individual experience would indicate a similar massive problem.
However, some birds more than others seem to be susceptible to window strike. The New Zealand pigeon is a frequent casualty as well as the kingfisher and the introduced song thrush but birds like the introduced house sparrow seldom if ever strike windows which may have something to do with their spatial intelligence.
Home owners and perhaps even office workers can take some steps to minimize the danger that windows pose to birds. One may place falcon, owl or spiderweb decals on the windows. They are not totally effective but they do help. Hanging a sun catcher or streamers of shiny, reflective plastic ribbon or strips of black garbage bags in front of problem windows can also be very effective as is simply letting windows get dirty.
Another option is to use interior coverings such as blinds and curtains, although this will only make a difference when the sun is shining directly on the window; if it’s darker on the inside of a window than on the outside, the pane will reflect like a mirror. A few dead branches in front of a problem window may help. The branches will reflect, but they’ll also slow the bird down a bit and enhance its chances of survival. Planting a shade tree or some shrubbery will serve the same purpose, as will an awning.
Many birds that strike windows are just stunned and will recover with a bit of help. The first thing to do is rescue the bird from cats, some of which learn to recognize the thud of a bird striking glass as a potential meal. Somewhere dark and warm is necessary to help the bird recover - the hot water cupboard or simply the pocket of the jacket one is wearing.Introduced Predators
Introduced predators come in the form of many things: man, dogs, cats, possums, mustalids (ferret, stoat and weasel), rats, pigs, hedgehogs to name but a few.Dangers caused by Man:
Dangers caused by Dogs:
Dangers caused by Cats:
Cats are more of a problem, they do not have the control over them like a dog. They will catch birds even when they are not hungry. If they do not kill the bird after catching it, the fright will often kill the bird, as will any scratch that the cat makes on the bird. The bird will need to have anti-biotic.What you can do:
Dangers caused by other predators
For the other types of predators i.e.: - possum, rats, mustalids etc, traps or rat /possum bait (care being taken not to have traps or baits where pets or birds can reach them). For predator pest advice, please ring your local Regional Council.
Information for this page was provided and written by Rosemary Tully; [email protected]
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