Window-killed Birds

Hughbirder at Hughbirder at
Sat Feb 2 19:04:50 PST 2002

Here is something you might try to keep birds from flying into windows.

Feather Guard: An innovative solution to the vexing problem of window-killed
birds (Published in Bird Watcher’s Digest by Stiles Thomas)

FeatherGuard is easy to make, costs little, and is attractive, but not to
birds. Furthermore, FeatherGuard is an attention getter. When you have it in
place you’ll be the envy of your birding friends. It takes less than 10
minutes per window. Try it on windows that get hit the most. Materials
required are monofilament fishing line and feathers. You can collect molted
feathers or buy a bag of feathers at a local crafts store--medium-sized
feathers (about six to eight inches long) are best.

Step one: Measure the window from top to bottom. Add two feet to the
measurement to allow for fastening to the house and to allow FeatherGuard to
blow in the wind.

Step two: Using a large needle poke a hole in the feather shaft at the
balance point.

Step three: Thread the needle with the monofilament, pull it thru the feather
shaft and slide it to the middle of the line. Then tie a simple knot to keep
it in place. Next, slide on another two feathers about seven inches on each
side of the first and tie in place. Attach the remaining feathers until you’
ve got a feather every seven inches or so. Don’t forget to leave a foot or so
at each end to fasten the rig to the top and bottom of your window. All
measurements are approximate.

Step four: Tap a long flathead nail into the window frame above and below the
window so the nail protrudes two or three inches from the frame. This will
keep the feathers away from the glass. The nail should be perpendicular to
the frame so the line doesn’t slide. Secure the line at the nail head. There
should only be enough slack to permit the FeatherGuard to sway from one side
of the glass to the other. That’s all there is to it.

A swaying FeatherGuard is a thing of beauty. People are entranced by it.
Staring at a FeatherGuard in motion gives almost as much pleasure as gazing
into the fireplace or watching the birds at your feeder.

Hugh Jennings
Bellevue, WA
hughbirder at

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