Milanese
by Mark Milanese
March 18th, 2013

Smart Glass vs. Stupid Birds

Are we creating a big problem if smart glass makes stupid birds angry? Here is some bird food for thought.

This February a client called to tell me about a little birdie in his backyard. It had a gray pompadour, big black eyes, a black forehead and orange sides. This homeowner was not a birdwatcher. He was calling because the little bird was attacking his new windows.

Each day the bird returned to molest the same window. He would fly to the sill, stare in and then suddenly strike. Again and again, all day long. Their home was in chaos. The bird had already poked holes in their Better-Vue screen and there was no way to stop its attacks.

My clients tried everything to defend their home from the diminutive singer’s assaults. They hung tinsel outside the window. They taped paper on the inside. They yelled at the bird. They waved their hands. The bird was not discouraged.

“Birds never attacked my house before I got new windows” my exasperated client told me. We both agreed the tiny tweeter had a bird brain.

I offered to install a full screen insert with Phifer “Pet Screen.” Maybe screen wire strong enough to stop a Pit-bull would bring the chickadee with a bad attitude to a halt. I also offered the services of my teenage son and his Beebe gun as a back-up plan. My client told me he’d get back to me on my offers.

A few days later he came into my showroom with his damaged screen and the rest of the story. He said, “Well… The bird made a hole in the screen big enough to fit through. He got trapped in between the screen and the glass and… Now, he’s dead…” Did the bird commit suicide? Die of hypothermia? Was the bird murdered?

I’ll never tell, but the client told me he found out a lot more about his recently deceased bird. It was, according to Wikipedia, a “Tufted Titmouse”… “A small monogamous songbird forming pairs that last more than a year… They are all-year residents who fiercely defend their territory.” The Tufted Titmouse is very common throughout the eastern part of North America. In this area, a client is likely to find one near them.

They are well-known for attacking their reflection in car mirrors. They think their mirror image is another Tufted Titmouse trying to steal their girl. They are not afraid to put up a fight for her.

After my client left, I looked up the Tufted Titmouse on YouTube and found our culprit in action. The angry bird’s beak hitting the glass makes an awful sound and is disturbing to watch. It must be very annoying to a homeowner. I hope the next boyfriend of the grieving widow in my client’s backyard is not quite so jealous.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of a jealous angry Tufted Titmouse fighting a window.

And another called “Dumb Bird Flies Into Window

 

 

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  1. This is common Springtime behavior for many song birds. One of the best remedies, if the outside of the window is accessible, is to soap up the *outside* of the window with a bar of soap. It dulls (or eliminates) the reflection, and it easily washes away in a few weeks once the bird has moved on or no longer feels the need to defend his territory. Another option is to spray (on the outside of the window) some of the “winter snow” decoration spray sold by craft stores. Again, this is easily washable once the birds territory has been established. The paper option is also a good one, but the paper must be put on the outside of the window, not the inside. Some people have found success using multiple post-it notes since they remove very easily.

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