Do you have many bird friendly building examples in your city or town? What is it in particular that makes them bird friendly? Please answer in comments. The trend has other elements like decoys and disruptive lighting and audio discouraging elements. What do you do ?
When birds strike office tower windows at great speeds, it’s not because they want to get inside these places, or because they’re out of their minds on toxic chemicals, but rather its because they see a reflection of an open sky and believe they have clear passage. Autopsies on bird carcasses taken from city streets often show perfectly healthy animals that simply cracked open their skulls like egg shells in a high impact collision with a plate glass window.
Ornilux glass is ornithologically superior glass. Bird friendly glass has evolved from innovations in glass making since 2nd century AD. The first stain glass windows for churches appeared in 6th century ad but were very crude and often composed of thinly sliced alabaster. After Rome was sacked by the Goths in 465 AD glass making went into decline for almost 800 years until it was revived in Venice Italy.
Cristallo is a glass which is totally clear (like rock crystal), without the slight yellow or greenish color originating from iron oxide impurities and so it was the first truly reflective glass that even sparkles like a gemstone in certain lighting conditions. You can understand how blue and red Cristallo could mimic rare gemstones! This effect is achieved through small additions of manganese oxide – an improvement on pyrolusite recipes. Often Cristallo has a low lime content which makes it prone to glass corrosion (otherwise known as glass disease).
Persian alchemist, Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, known simply as “Geber” or Jabir recorded dozens of formulas for the production of glass in specific colors. Geber was Arabia’s most prolific chemistry writer and thinker at the head of one of the world’s foremost academic intuitions in Persia.
Jabir’s writings describe methods, for evaporation, filtration, sublimation, melting, distillation, calcination and crystallization. At least two treatises attributed to him lay down the basic rules for conducting, recording and verifying experiments.
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Jabir was also the first to describe the preparation of cinnabar, arsenious oxide, alum, alkalis, antimony, saltpeter, mercury oxide and lead acetate. He also determined that a mixture of sulfuric and nitric acid (aqua regia) would dissolve gold. His acid was key to making red glass. Cranberry glass is made in craft production rather than in large quantities, due to the high cost of the gold. The gold chloride is made by dissolving gold in a solution of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid (aqua regia). The glass is typically hand blown or molded. The finished, hardened glass is a type of colloid, a solid phase (gold) dispersed inside another solid phase (glass).
Today, most tall buildings in North America have highly reflective windows that trick birds’ vision, and what these creature’ brains perceive as the open sky, is instead a 3/4 inch thick wall of glass. Dead birds liter the sidewalks in big cities. Residential sunrooms and conservatories are equally deadly.
There’s discussion about bird friendly building trends on urban Toronto and a similar conversation about the need to recognize bird friendly building practices in Canadian Content environmental science forum and both are designed to raise awareness for the problem of modern glass creating such perfect reflections of the sky, and thereby causing bird strikes which are now, over time, having a drastic negative affect on the population of migratory birds all over the world.
Ornilux is ornithologically superior glass which birds perceive as shifting thick spiderwebs and something to be avoided. The Arnold Glass co innovation comes at the end of along line of advances in stained glass windows propel glass making technology, but this breakthrough alone is not enough – the architects and engineers have got to want to make change. They have to want to seek out special glass that’s expensive and hard to find.
What are some known bird friendly buildings in your area? what makes them so special? What else can we do to raise awareness to help prevent bird strikes?