Which is Worse for Birds – Wind Turbines, or Your Windows?
Your windows, by a long shot. Estimates are that collisions with windows kill more than 100 million birds every year in the United States. Birds can’t see glass, and windows on buildings are a major cause of avian fatalities around the world.
By contrast fewer than half a million birds are killed by wind turbines each year, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (440,000 to be exact).
Birds are used to flying at as fast as thirty miles an hour through branches of trees with no problems, so they take risks that historically have been justified. But as buildings with large expanses of glass proliferate, so do dead birds.
But now, a special glass, developed by the German company Arnold Glas, with research assistance from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology keeps birds safe from window collisions. It won the “red dot” award this year from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany.
Ornilux (birds, light) Mikado is a new kind of glass developed by the company in Germany. The bird-friendly glass was tested on Central European garden birds and it was found to be recognized by birds as being not safe to fly through, cutting fatalities by an estimated 75%.
The coating would also help insulate a building as well, the company says.