Bird-Friendly Windows

By Stephanie Paeg (used with permission)

In this document I prepared a brief comparison and cost estimate of six different products designed to reduce bird window-strike fatalities. They range from tapes and films to physical barriers like screens, and have varying degrees of success. Several of these options could potentially be used to comply with LEED Credit Pilot 55 – Bird Collision Deterrence (http://www.usgbc.org/credits/new-construction-core-and-shell-schools-new-construction-retail-new-construction-healthca-44), though more research would be needed. I have included the product name, company name, website, product description, the product’s expected lifetime, unit costs, a rough estimate of total costs, and several photos for each of the six products I researched.

I chose these specific products largely based on recommendations from the Fatal Light Awareness Program (http://www.flap.org) which has a wealth of information about reducing the fatalities caused by window strikes. They suggest that products based on UV reflection may not yet be effective technology based on current research, which is why I did not include summaries of any UV products. FLAP’s website would be a wonderful starting point for anyone wishing to improve upon or expand the information I included here, or who is simply interested in learning about some of the dangers posed to birds by windows, buildings, and light pollution.

Each of these short summaries assumes a rough estimate of the sizes of the windows on either side and above the double doors on the wall of the Discovery Room (effectively protecting all the glass on the wall except that in the doors). Shipping costs were not included in the estimates unless specifically noted.

If I can provide any further assistance on this topic in the future, please feel free to contact me using Stefanie.paeg@gmail.com.

Thanks so much!

 

BirdTape

American Bird Conservancy

www.collidescape.org/abc-birdtape

Description: translucent tape intended for outdoor application to windows in patterns to improve the visibility of the window to birds. BirdTape is produced in 3 inch width (intended to be cut into 3 inch squares) and ¾ inch tape (intended to be applied in a striped pattern). For stripes, spacing should be approximately 2 inches apart for horizontal stripes, and 4 inches apart for vertical stripes.

Product lifespan: their website suggests BirdTape lasts “up to 4 years”

Unit cost: Each 75 foot roll of BirdTape costs $19.95 USD (including delivery)

Cost estimate: For a vertical striped pattern with the ¾” tape, and assuming a rough estimate of 8280 inches of tape needed to achieve this pattern, approximately 10 rolls would need to be purchased.

                        Total cost: $200

Product images:

 

CollidEscape window film

CollidEscape

www.colliescape.org

Description: perforated film designed to cover entire windows. Applied on the outside of the window in sheets, it makes them clearly visible to birds, but still allows for visibility through them from inside the building. Two models are available. “Standard” provided the best function. “Clear” compromises some of the function for improved aesthetics and minimizes the impact the film has on visibility through the window.

Product lifespan: estimated at over 10 years in direct sunlight. Their product testing is ongoing, and CollidEscape suggests on their website that the actual lifespan will vary greatly due to region and site-specific outdoor weather conditions.

Unit cost: varies by length and width of sheets. Planning would be needed to ensure few/no seams and lowest cost for pieces cut to the windows sizes with minimal waste. But generally, the standard (white) CollidEscape is approximately $3.50/square foot and the Clear option is approximately $4.50/square foot

Cost estimate: Based on the unit cost (not considering the specific costs for different sized sheets) and a window area estimate of roughly 230 square feet

                       Total Cost (Standard): $806

                       Total Cost (Clear): $1,036

Product Images:

Custom printed CollidEscape is available, such as the design used by the visitor center at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

 

Feather Friendly

Convenience Group Inc.

http://www.conveniencegroup.com/featherfriendly/feather-friendly-solution

Description: adhesive dots designed to be applied in evenly spaced rows to the exterior of a window to make it visible to birds. The product comes in rolls with the dots spaced 2 inches apart. 

Product lifespan: 6 year 3M™ Product warranty, expected lifespan of over 8 years

Unit cost: sold in 100 ft rolls at approximately $14/roll

Cost estimate: assuming a pattern of 2 inch spacing, I estimated that roughly 14 rolls of tape would be required

                          Total Cost: $196

Product images:

 

Acopian BirdSavers

Acopian BirdSavers

http://www.birdsavers.com/

Description: a series of dark paracord lines hung vertically in front of windows to discourage birds from flying towards them. Free “make it yourself” instructions are also available on their website. Nicknamed “Zen wind curtains”.

Product lifespan: varies, no estimate readily available

Unit cost: varies widely by length, width, and mounting options

Cost estimate: assuming screws and clamps mounting choice 

                        Total cost: approximately $216

Product images:

Acopian BirdSavers at Chincoteague NWR

 

Bird Screens

The Bird Screen Company

http://birdscreen.com/

Description: loosely hanging screens hung in front of windows to cushion the impact of bird strikes. Different from many other methods since they attempt to mitigate physical trauma of window strikes, rather than reducing the actual frequency of the strikes. The screens come in 24 inch, 30 inch, and 34 inch widths. Each screen comes with 6 feet of length that can be cut to the desired length.

Product lifespan: no estimate available

Unit cost: 24 inch screen- $22/screen                 36 inch screen- $26/screen

Cost estimate: Based on widow measurements, I estimated cost assuming a total of four 26 inch screens and fourteen 36 inch screens

                        Total cost: $452

Product images:

 

SOLYX: SX-BSFH Bird Safety Film

Decorative Films, LLC

http://www.decorativefilm.com/solyx-sx-bsfh-bird-safety-film-59-or-70-wide-2

Description: clear film with frosted white stripes designed to be applied in sheets to the exterior of windows to make them more visible to birds. The film comes in 59 inch and 70 inch widths, with both horizontal and vertical lines available as options.

Product lifespan: 7 year estimate

Unit cost: $28.99/running foot. Estimate uses vertical stripes. Assuming 8 pieces of the 59 inch widths and 1 piece of the 70 inch width (for the window above the door – this may still leave a slight gap on either side, depending on the exact width of the window frame) 

               Total cost: $2226

Product images

Bird Safety Film at the National Zoo