Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Now, The Inelegant Solution

We've noticed lately that birds are striking our windows more this year than in all the previous years we've been here. Seems we hear a strike a few times a week. We found one stunned Pine Siskin two weeks ago, but other than that, we've haven't seen the birds who have hit our windows. That is, until Tuesday morning, when I found this dead Rufous Hummingbird. That was it. I knew there had to be something we could do to at least deter these birds from flying into the lovely reflection of the yard.
Roger volunteers at Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday mornings, so I was left up to my own devices to solve this little problem. I googled "preventing window strikes" and found a site that had a lot of excellent information about bird strikes and very good solutions. I altered one a bit, and came up with this.
I took a very nice white sheet and cut it into strips. I got the ladder out of the big shed and grabbed some very nice push pins. I attached the sheet strips loosely in front of the windows. We often have a breeze here, so the strips are rarely motionless. I'm hopeful that the moving cloth will be enough to keep the birds from being drawn to the glass yard.
We gave up this view, but what we get in return is truly immeasurable for us.

While I was composing this post Tuesday afternoon, I had the doors open and could hear the birds singing their melodious territorial songs. While I listened their calls became much more frantic and alarmed. I recalled this sound from last week when the bobcat was in the yard. It was a sound I made myself remember. I took a look around, and sure enough that young bobcat was sitting under the trees right behind our lovely pergola and the blooming lupins. This is a very young bobcat, cinnamon colored, and small. I watched it slink off very quietly into the shadow of the trees before I could even get the camera to my eyes. I think this little one has adopted our yard. No surprise. We have more birds (and more bird strikes) than ever before here. We don't plan to encourage or discourage the cat from coming into the yard. The birds are still making a racket as I type this. It's really quite a yard.

Okay, just after I typed that last sentence the bobcat made a very obvious appearance strolling across the yard, behind the pond, around the bird feeder, over to the flower beds, where it tried and failed to catch a rabbit, then ambled through our sea of lupin, and out through the fence. I photographed as much of it as I could. I'll post those pics tomorrow. I will say this, this sighting definitely was too close for comfort, and we are reconsidering our decision about not actively discouraging this young fearless cat.

Roger came home from Habitat and said, "Hey, you TP'ed the house!"

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