A while back, Eric and I, just for fun, were trying to come up with a name of our house. We thought of "Pine Villa" and "Squirrel's Rest", but eventually, we lost the pine tree, and the wooded lots either side of our house were built on, so those names no longer fit.
One recurring name that kept coming up was "Dove's Demise". Not exactly something one would want on a slate by the front door, but in our case over the years it would be considered an appropriate name.
As much as I like to garden for wildlife, and keep the feeders and birdbaths filled, an alarming number of birds, mostly Mourning or White Winged doves, have crashed into the windows across the back of our house and died.
This photo gives you gives you a good idea why. I was standing by the bird bath and bird feeder when I took it, and you can see that the blue sky is reflected in the windows.
What often happens is that a truck or something noisy will come along the road behind our wall and startle the birds, who will take flight and scatter en masse. They don't perceive the glass, but just see the sky reflected and think they can fly through. Inside the house we hear a loud *thunk* and look out to see a bird lying dead on the patio with a broken neck.
We're running out of places to bury them. :-(
We have tried various stickers on the windows with not much success, so I started searching for a better solution.
That's when I found The Bird Screen Company.
The screens aren't expensive and they are easy to install - I was able to install them myself last weekend using the suction cup mount option that was included.
As you can see, they are made of black vinyl screen and hang several inches from the window and are secured top and bottom to give tension. From inside the house, they do not block the view and should a bird happen to hit the screen, it softens the impact, allowing the bird to fly away unharmed.
You can read the history of how they were developed here.
So far, I have installed them on the three living room windows, and the patio door, which were the windows that have been involved in the most bird collisions. (Haven't done the dining room yet - the windows on the right)
I'm hopeful that the birds in our garden will be safer and we no longer have to call our house "Dove's Demise".
If you've ever thought about giving your house a name, or even if you haven't, you might enjoy this House Naming Guide.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.