Posted April 11th 2023
For over 16 years, Feather Friendly© has offered scientifically proven bird collision prevention solutions. Over 6 million square feet of our products have been installed worldwide and continue to be used by a wide range of clients – from homeowners and Zoos to Universities and more.
We take pride in listening to our customers’ wants and needs, which is why we’re excited to offer our latest product: Pro-DIY. This newest option aligns with our commitment to providing the most effective and innovative do-it-yourself solutions for bird collision prevention.
In today’s blog, we’ll explore some of its top features and most importantly, discuss how it can help you mitigate bird glass collisions for any medium-sized project.
Described as the mini version of Feather Friendly’s commercial line of mitigation treatments, Pro-DIY bird collision deterrent technology offers high-quality durability, longevity, and ease of installation for any medium-sized job. It is highly recommended for projects between 75 – 225 square feet.
While our DIY for small-scale projects is still available and continues to be an excellent option on a limited budget, the new Pro-DIY solution makes DIY home projects easier than ever. Pro-DIY makes self-installs easier by offering consistent spacing, allowing you to lay five rows of markers down at once.
Vice President of Feather Friendly©, Paul Groleau, sums up the new product, “Pro-DIY is the next natural progression in effective and innovative do-it-yourself bird collision deterrent technology that our clients have come to expect from Feather Friendly. It provides similar ease of installation and durability as our commercial product, making it easier to protect the birds we love.”
Pro-DIY is manufactured to order and is available in both light grey and black. Light grey deterrent markers are used for reflective glass. This is when the surrounding habitat and sky are mirrored on the glass, causing the illusion of an environment that doesn’t really exist. If your glass has reflection, you will need to place light grey markers on the outside surface of the glass for them to be most effective.
Black markers, on the other hand, are used for fly-through glass. Fly-through is when birds can see a habitat or sky that really does exist on the other side, but they do not realize the glass is a solid barrier preventing them from reaching it. A clear glass railing or a glass walkway are perfect examples. If your glass has fly-through, the best practice is to apply black deterrent markers on either side of the glass.
Recently, Bird Safe Philly partnered with Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington, Pennsylvania, to install Feather Friendly Light Grey for Reflection using our new Pro-DIY in the Melody pattern. We thank them for their partnership in saving birds for current and future generations.
Our latest Pro-DIY product isn’t the only solution we provide. We also offer Commercial and SEEN AG for large-scale projects, and our regular DIY and ABC BirdTape for small-scale projects. With solution options suitable for all building types, our easy-to-use products provide the best combination of collision avoidance, longevity, appearance, and visibility to birds while still maintaining outside views and natural light.
To help you decide which Feather Friendly solution best suits your unique project, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each product.
A cost-effective solution for treating small areas such as 1 to 2 windows or a patio door.
Perfect for medium-scale self-installs. Provides consistent spacing, allowing you to lay several rows of markers down at a time.
Designed to install quickly and achieve exact spacing over a large area.
Before choosing any one of our solutions for your bird collision mitigation project, there are some noteworthy and valuable things to consider first:
Reflective glass is the most common collision problem for birds. The surrounding habitat is reflected off the outside surface of the glass, acting like a mirror and tricking the bird into thinking it can fly safely into the illusion.
Fortunately, applying standardized markers/patterns to the outside surface of the glass breaks up the reflection, interrupting the illusionary effect. However, it is important to note that applying treatments on any surface other than the external surface is substantially less effective. This is because the rays from the sun hit the glass at angles that make the interior treatments invisible throughout large parts of the day.
Why does it work? The bird no longer perceives the space as an open and safe fly zone. It can now distinguish that there is a barrier to the flight path.
Fly-through zones include everything from clear glass railings to linkways that connect two buildings. Unlike reflection, fly-through zones show habitat that really does exist on the other side of the glass. The bird doesn’t realize the physical barrier that separates it from the area that lies beyond.
Applying standardized markers/patterns to the glass interrupts transparency. When the issue is predominantly or exclusively a transparency problem, we recommend applying black markers, which can be installed on the more accessible side of the glass.
Why this works: The bird no longer perceives the space as an open and safe fly zone. It can now distinguish there is a barrier to the flight path. Black markers, in this instance, also offer a better colour contrast.
Well known for their impressive flying skills, birds can fit through small spaces at high speeds. Thus, spacing is a vital element in establishing effective prevention. If the gap between markers is too large, birds believe they can simply fit and fly through that space. The closer together the spacing, the better the protection for smaller bird species like hummingbirds, bushtits, and verdin. The best level of protection is a marker size of no less than 1/4” (6mm) spaced no farther apart than 2” x 2” (50mm x 50 mm).
Why this works: When consistent spacing is applied, the bird can no longer find enough open space to fit through and instead will avoid the area altogether.
To be effective, bird deterrent markers must be visible under various lighting conditions and be high in contrast against the type of problematic glass you have. Birds should notice the treatment in time to change course before it is too late. For example, a green coloured marker would disappear on glass reflecting an abundance of foliage.
That’s why we recommend light grey markers for reflective glass and black for fly-through. The higher contrast treatments enable the bird to perceive the barrier well in advance, providing ample time to react and alter their direction.
Why this works: The bird perceives the barrier much earlier with high-contrast treatments.
Did you know that in some cases treating the entire building from top to bottom may not be necessary? Instead, establishing an area of bird activity can sometimes be determined to best understand where bird deterrents are needed.
To do so, consider the surrounding area (ex., close to a nature reserve, waterways, migratory bird routes), the height of the mature tree canopy, and your local municipal regulations/standards. Many municipal standards consider the first 4 to 5 stories of a building or the top of the mature tree canopy, whichever is greater, to establish an area of bird activity.
With that being said, each project is unique and should be treated as such. Therefore, this is a minimum recommendation that may change based on the project.
Why this works: Treating the areas of a building or home that pose a danger to birds will save a species
Birds migrate at night to avoid predators and navigate by the stars. Light pollution interrupts this journey, often attracting them to the city, where they become trapped and disoriented in maze-like surroundings. Once drawn into the city, they are more likely to succumb to glass collisions.
Turning off non-essential lights from 11 p.m. to sunrise during migratory periods dramatically reduces this hazard by allowing birds to safely continue their journeys. In addition, extensive data continues to support lights-out programs, particularly during the Spring and Fall Migration.
Why this works: Birds are not led into the areas where the risks are more abundant.
There are several other factors that can influence the threat glass structures pose to birds. These factors can include the following:
Several studies have concluded that the amount of glass on the face of a building is the best predictor of mortality resulting from a bird collision. Specifically, a 10 percent increase in glass area was found to correlate to a 19 percent increase in collisions (or more, depending on the season).
The more vegetation surrounding your space, the more likely it will attract local and migrating birds, increasing the risk of glass collisions.
Aquatic habitats like streams, lakesides, and marshes, are also highly favourable among bird species. These habitats are attractive during the day and at night once birds end their migration stages. The space between two points of vegetation must also be considered. For instance, birds fly considerable distances daily to each viable habitat for food, water, and shelter. As a result, they can encounter structures like bus shelters and buildings, which can be highly unsafe.
If you’re planning to install one of the above bird collision deterrent technologies, it’s important to make sure that the installation is done right. Here are some tips to ensure your Feather Friendly install goes according to plan.
For full Pro-DIY install instructions and tips, please watch the install video here.
Spring migration is currently underway, and millions of birds are returning home to their breeding grounds. Unfortunately, migration is also when many birds are injured or killed due to collisions with glass. Thankfully, we can help them by treating our glass and making migration routes safer.
Feather Friendly© is honoured to be the trusted choice for preventing bird collisions. Our markers are scientifically tested and approved by the American Bird Conservancy and Dr. Daniel Klem Jr. (leading scientific researcher on bird collisions), not to mention many independent studies. So whether you’re in need of a small, medium, or large-scale solution, Feather Friendly has everything you need for simple solutions that make a big mark on bird conservation.
We’d love to help you with your unique conservation project. Contact us today.
We are honoured to form partnerships with organizations who demonstrate
an ongoing commitment to bird conservation.