Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bird Crash

As reader jimbo commented, there is a flight accident investigation underway:

PIERRE, SD—Sparrow Aviation Administration officials are calling the Monday collision of an westbound sparrow with the window of a Mitchell, SD home a clear case of "controlled flight into glass," after the bird failed to detect a transparent windowpane directly in his flight path.

Howard R. Trojanowski, a Pierre-bound, 2-year-old field sparrow who had been licensed to fly since two weeks after he was hatched and had logged over 60,000 flying hours, departed from a ledge near Sioux Falls Regional Airport at 11:04 a.m. CST. Trojanowski never reached his intended tree branch, instead striking a tempered-glass picture window 2.5 miles northwest of Mitchell 74 minutes after takeoff at an estimated speed of 39 mph.

There were no survivors.

Though the above article is obviously a joke, collisions with windows are a major bird killer, especially at large reflective windows. FLAP offers solutions for reducing kills, most of which involve covering the window surface to make it visible to birds. Audubon at Home rates several options for practicality. Turning off lights at night can help during migration. Unfortunately the hawk silhouettes are not all that effective if used alone.