Prior to urbanization, birds did not need to make rapid decisions about objects in their direct path to avoid death. During flight, birds are primarily concerned with passing objects and avoiding predators- so when they encounter transparent or reflective glass surfaces that are not part of their natural environment the collisions are often fatal. Birds generally do not see glass or a barrier, which creates a dangerous illusion of clear airspace.
The majority of collisions of birds with glass happen during the day when they see reflections of the surrounding landscape such as the sky or ground or they may see through the glass and be trying to reach the interior. While many people assume that bird/glass collisions are mainly with skyscrapers, the reality is that nearly all fatal bird/glass collisions are with low-rise buildings and residences that high-rises account for less than 1 percent.
Bird Friendly Glazing Solutions
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent bird/glass collisions and plenty of options for both new buildings and for existing building renovations and retro-fits.
In order to stop birds from flying into glass, we need to provide them with visual clues that they can understand. This is accomplished by creating visual ‘noise’ on the surface of the glass that deters birds from attempting to fly through. This noise can be achieved via the use of a ceramic frit, UV markers or etched glass and can be combined with our switchable glass products.
Add a ceramic frit to IGUs to give the outer lite some opacity and stop birds from flying into the glass. Doing so has the added benefit of lowering solar heat gain by limiting the amount of solar energy entering the IGU. This option has been approved by the American Bird Conservancy and can be combined with our PDLC technology.
Ultraviolet markers prevent bird collisions without interfering with the clear look of glass for humans. This is because birds can see UV light in the ultraviolet spectrum (ranging from 300-400 nanometers) and humans cannot. By incorporating reflective UV strands into the glass, the glass resembles spider webs and encourages birds to avoid flying into them.
Smart Glass Country is using advanced UV coating technology combined with our switchable laminated glass to limit bird collisions while leaving views clear and open and providing privacy on demand. Smart Glass contains a PDLC layer that goes from clear to frosted with the flick of a switch, giving you instant privacy in addition to being bird safe.
While UV coatings can save many birds, university studies have found that birds differ significantly in how well they see ultraviolet light. The UV spectrum is highly visible for species such as small perchers, gulls and parrots. However, it is less visible for geese, pigeons, crows and birds of prey.
Etched glass has acid-etched designs on the number 1 surface of the glass. This helps birds identify the surface and avoid flying into it. Designs include dot patterns, vertical and horizontal lines and abstract patterns. This option is the highest rated when it comes to bird avoidance technologies. Etched glass also offers great thermal performance and resistance.
HOW SMART GLASS MINIMIZES COLLISIONS
When Smart Privacy Glass is powered off, it instantly becomes opaque. When offices and home windows are not in use, they can easily be switched off via a smartphone, wall switch, button, home automation system or voice command. When the glass is frosted, it acts as an obvious barrier to birds. Smart glass and film make switching glass on and off effortless and it can even be done automatically or remotely.
By combining switchable glass products with bird-friendly solutions, you can enjoy privacy on demand and peace of mind. Enjoy your view and natural light without your glass surfaces creating hazards for wild birds. Bird-friendly glass is a great solution. Get in touch with Smart Glass Country today to determine the best glass for your location and the bird species in your local area.
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