Preventing Window Strike
Have you noticed the new window decorations at the Valley Project Fred Hollows Room? They’re a little tricky for us to see but they light up brightly (like reflective strips on a bicycle or HiVis Vest) to birds flying past by reflecting UV light. These decals are designed to prevent window strike which can occur when birds perceive a direct line of sight through a window - either they see a reflection of trees or the sky or they can see directly through two windows.
As well as placing UV window decals on your windows, the placement of your bird feeder can also help to prevent window strike. Place feeders either within one metre of the window or further than 9 meters from the window. If the feeder is within one metre of the window, birds can usually see that there is no straight through path. If further than nine meters, birds generally have enough time to avoid the window - particularly if they get spooked by a prowling predator.
Following a collision, birds can injure their coracoid bone (similar to a human collar bone) which can take weeks to heal, followed by even more time rehabilitating to gain the strength to fly again. Many of the kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) patients that are admitted to the Wildlife Hospital have unfortunately suffered window strike injuries. After some pain relief and a rest overnight, the birds are sedated to be checked and x-rayed. They are bandaged up in a supportive wrap bandage (unfortunately birds can’t get casts like us) to help them heal.
Keep an eye on any birds you suspect have suffered a window collision, especially if they are on the ground, making sure they are kept safe from any predators. If they are still there after 20 minutes, for native birds, call DOC (03 477 0677) or after hours call the DOC Hotline (0800 362 468) as soon as possible and for non-native birds try the SPCA (473 8252). The sooner a bird is treated, the better and faster they recover.
To purchase your own window decals, check out projectkereru.org.nz/preventing-window-strike. If you're keen to get your own bird feeder, check out PekaPeka bird feeders.
A huge thank you to Jordana at the Wildlife Hospital for talking to us about window strike.
Wild Winged Wotsits and Kākā Kabaret!
Rewild... NZ Festival of Nature, by Wild Dunedin
On Tuesday 27 April from 2pm-3pm at North East Valley Normal School Hall, join Open VUE and Kaitrin McMullan for the Wild Winged Wotsit Workshop and try your hand at making paper flying birds and compete in the flying competition, judged by the amazing Tahu Mackenzie from Orokonui Ecosanctuary. All materials supplied. You just bring your enthusiasm and maybe your own favourite design.
Come along to the Kākā Kabaret from 3.15pm-4.15pm on the same day and place. Special Guest is the amazing Tahu Mackenzie who will judge the fastest, furthest and funkiest paper Wild Winged Wotsits. A fun Kākā Act follows with songs, stories and a special Kākāspiel from Taylor Davies-Colley of Orokonui Ecosanctuary.
Please book for these events with Kaitrin McMullan on 0274609885.
Click below to download the Wild Winged Wotsit Pattern - or feel free to create your own!