Hawk Silhouettes for the Birds

By , August 6, 2010

Our cabin has two large, beautiful picture windows that unfortunately present a hazard to our local birds. One window, in particular, seems to be a problem. Most of our bird strikes hit that window rather than the others. This week we took steps to solve the problem by making and hanging hawk silhouettes for that window.

We could have drawn our own silhouettes, I suppose, but I decided to download templates from hawkmountain.org, where they have a PDF document, “Helpful Hawks.” Ideally, I’d like to cut these out of static cling film, but that’s not easy to come by here, and rather expensive. Instead, we used craft sheets of closed-cell foam left over from updating our Halloween decorations last year.

hawk silhouettes

Hawkmountain.org's paper templates laid out on closed-cell foam (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

To mount them on the window, I cut a small slit in each piece, like a button hole, and inserted the bulb end of a small suction cup in each. I carefully cleaned the glass before putting them up, to get best adhesion.

hawk silhouettes

The silhouettes in place on the outside of the window, to contrast better against the reflection (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

According to Hawk Mountain, as many as 100 million birds die from window strikes each year! We get several each summer; somehow, varied thrushes seem the most common, followed, ironically, by falcons! Merlins, a small local falcon, have hit the window a few times. As small as they are, a miniature raptor hitting the window causes quite a stir. We could argue that we’re doing this for our own health as much as the birds’.

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