Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Window Dressing

Two birds fly past.
They are needed somewhere.
-Robert Bly

The table was set, the house was ours: Spouse and I prepared to dine, to celebrate our new home in Texas. The last of the day's sun drenched the kitchen as the windows were yet without shade. We seated ourselves, raised our forks, each heaved a contented sigh.
A mighty bang demolished the fine mood and startled us both out of our seats.
In the garden a tumble of brown feathers lay warm but still. The creature had no chance, had no concept of what he was sailing into. One moment he had been a melodious heart and two wings on a breeze, the next his breath was forced out of him by an enemy he never saw.
Both Spouse and I were greatly distressed by the loss and felt quite dreadful that it was our undressed window that had knocked him off the course of his life forever.
We ate our meal in silence, painfully conscious of the loss that lay crumpled in the dirt outside the window.
Upon tidying away the plates and glasses we set to work trying to amend the situation. Spouse industriously recommended that even a hint of colour on the glass would deter birds from flying into it.
Not having had time to unpack our belongings, the best we could emerge with was several sheets of white paper which we taped to the inside of each window of the living room. Standing in the garden afterward it was evident that we had provided a very reasonable warning sign to small feathery creatures.
Indeed, for as long as we lived in that house not another bird hit the window; they simply spun away as soon as their shadows drew close to the glass. Perhaps it was the dramatic white paper that worked the magic, or, strangely, it might have had something to do with the bold message we drew in enormous letters on each sheet:
This led us to the inevitable conviction that the flying friends in our back garden were rather well read.


Beth said...

You are good people--not everyone would have taken such swift and effective action.

Barb said...

It is so heartbreaking to have a bird fly into a window. What a great reason to have dirty windows! (LOL)

One year I cleaned out Bombay Company of all of their elongated coloured glass Christmas ornaments which I hung in both of my picture windows. Since then not one bird has hit the window (that I'm aware of).

Love your window sign "no fly zone". Maybe the birds today are better educated.

polona said...

poor thing to crash into your window!
glad there were no further casualties...

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Beth, we felt so guilty. The bird's flightpath was there long before our house was built so we were the intruders, in a way.

Barb, yes- good point- dirty windows save birds' lives :)
I'm glad you found a way to protect birds in your own area!

Polona, no, not a single other casualty and we were so glad it worked. We had so many birds in our back garden and I loved to watch them and was glad we didn't see any more get killed.

Anonymous said...

Birds are one of God's most marvelous creatures. Bravo for you. Our deterent at home is the cat who is constantly at the window watching them. This is the cat's version of human television and the bird's warning to stay away from the window. It's a win-win situation.


Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

yes, good point- cats are great like that. I wouldn't want to see them kill any birds, just as you said to be a warning to them!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I was hoping there was to be a magical ending whereby the bird was simply stunned and after dinner when you went to bury the boy the bird had flown the coop as it were. that does happen, albeit probably not as often as a broken neck.

kudos to you for your swift remedy of the situation - who knows how many birds died before you moved in and posted the no fly zone!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Kimy, I'm sorry too that there was no happy ending. I know it was possible, not just wishful thinking. I hope the new owners have window covering!

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