Clear win­dows in­vite bird fa­tal­i­ties

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NER­BAS

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)

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