Spring has arrived in Asheville, North Carolina - but it's not all sunshine and roses - especially for bed and breakfast owners. From the "glass half empty" perspective, it's the time of year for ants in the house, pollen and allergies, cleaning all the outside stuff you couldn't get to in winter, yard work....you get the picture.
This spring we encountered a new problem - but apparently one common enough to have solutions for it posted on the Internet: birds flying into windows. Yes - that's right - flying into closed windows over and over and over again.
Not only is it harmful to the bird, but it makes a mess of the window. In our case, the bird (a robin) was perching on the railing of the stairway leading from the parking lot to our front door. And, he (or she) was pooping on our front porch while contemplating whether or not he would make one more try at flying through the window.
So, the window was a mess and the front porch was covered with bird poop - making this the first thing arriving guests would see. After cleaning the area numerous times, we decided to search for a solution.
Our local wild bird store had window decals to show the bird that there was really some glass there. These decals were fairly small and cost $6 for a package of four. Unfortunately our bird was smart (or dumb, depending on how you look at it) since he flew into the areas of the window with no decals!
Next we researched the problem on the Internet and found more information than we ever wanted or needed. Apparently no one knows for sure why birds do this, but it seems to occur during their nesting season.
One theory is that a male sees his reflection in the window and is protecting his territory by attacking the other bird. Another theory is that the window reflects the shrubs and sky so he decides it's a pass through. Either way it is not pretty.
Finally, a guest at our inn from New Hampshire recommended raising the exterior storm window so the bird could only see the screen which blocked the reflection. Such a simple solution - but it worked!