Clear windows invite bird fatalities
QUESTION: I am in desperate need of your help! For the past month, a bird (robin) has been flying into our patio-door window. I am assuming he sees his shadow and thinks it is another bird. All this starts at 5:45 a.m. Not only are we awake for the rest of the day, but we also have a messy window and bird “poop” all over the deck. I have tried putting paper over the window, hanging wind chimes and also foil plates on a string hanging the length of the window. Nothing is working! Hoping you have a solution to this annoying problem. Thanks, Jane, Winnipeg
ANSWER: The problem is that you are too good at cleaning your windows. Next time your windows are dirty, just smear instead of polishing them. One of the leading causes of death for wild birds is flying into glass windows. An estimated 97 million birds die each year in North America as a result of collisions with windows. Your windows act like mirrors when your house is dark. Therefore, begin by turning on lights inside your house. Otherwise, they will only see their own reflection or the reflection of the trees behind them. Altering drapes or blinds may also help reduce the reflection. Adding curtains to windows on the other side of the room removes the “tunnel” birds see when looking straight through your house.
You can also reduce collisions by placing screen, netting or strips of cloth outside your windows as a warning. Hawk decals will work, but only if you use LOTS of them as a way to turn an invisible window into a “solid wall.” Actually, any decal or paper cut-out works. One or two big hawk decals are useless. You can hang lace curtains or lean several old CDs against the window ledge. If you’re really desperate, create patterns with tape. Tempura paint is readily available and inexpensive to purchase in most craft and hobby stores. The paint can be applied in many ways, from brushing to stencils to sponges. Tempura will withstand rain and is completely non-toxic. To remove, wipe with a damp sponge or rag and then wash the window normally.
ANSWER: An inexpensive way to soften and condition leather is to use either cold cream or petroleum jelly. Rub one or the other onto leather and wipe away excess cream with a towel. Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area first. For general cleaning or water spots, wipe furniture with vinegar or beeswax, or vinegar combined with linseed oil. When you find a stain mark on a leather garment, use the inside cuff of the leather piece to rub against the stain. Taken from Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions.
QUESTION: I always read your household solutions to all the various things that are likely to happen around the house and appreciate how you use natural remedies to get fabulous results. I inherited a piece of leather furniture that I cherish. I tried to buy leather conditioner to preserve its beauty, but to my surprise, it was so expensive. As a student, I usually like to go with the most reasonable and safest option. I will really appreciate if you could find a natural solution for me. Thanks for your good work. Regards, Pat (Steinbach, MB)