May 17 2009
WindowAlert announced today that it has sent technologically advanced window decals to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. The decals help prevent wild birds from striking windows. It is hoped that Michelle Obama and her children will set an example for the country by installing the decals on White House windows.
WindowAlert is an environmental firm specializing in UV-reflective technology. The company manufactures window decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows brilliantly for birds. The decals may be purchased at over 600 bird hobbyist stores across the country or online at www.WindowAlert.com.
"Humans don't notice our decals, but birds are seeing a red stoplight," says company founder, Spencer Schock. Schock was moved to develop the decals because birds were striking his office windows and dying.
A recent study by The Wilson Journal of Ornithology estimates that 1 billion birds annually die from collisions with glass in the United States. This staggering number represents approximately 5% of the bird population in the U.S.
WindowAlert is helping to stem this loss by exploiting the keen vision of birds. Birds enjoy vision that is far superior to human vision according to Schock.
For example, both humans and birds have photoreceptive cones in the retina located at the back of the eye. These cones allow the eye to process color light. Humans have three cone types that are sensitive to red, green, or blue light; this is called trichromatic color vision. Birds enjoy a fourth cone or tetrachromatic color vision. This fourth cone expands the visible light spectrum for birds allowing them to see ultraviolet light frequencies.
"Birds fly fast in varying light conditions," says Schock. "This is a dangerous activity; you might hit something. To meet the demands of flight, birds have evolved such that their eyesight is remarkably keen. Our technology takes advantage of this evolutionary characteristic."