Apple retail workers help save Barred Owl that flew into Portland store window

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2017
Employees at Apple Pioneer Place in Portland, Ore., arrived at work early one November morning to a surprising scene: a Barred Owl, a rare sight in the city, dazed and standing atilt next to the store's two-story glass facade.




The night prior, the winged predator, swooping through town with a half-eaten rat in its maw, apparently slammed into one of the many massive glass panels that make up a modern Apple store's walls and fell some 20 feet to the ground below. Known as a window strike, the event left the owl dazed, confused and vulnerable, reports Audubon Portland.

Apple's Pioneer Place outlet, which was approved in 2012, boasts an "Apple store 2.0" design with a high-flung roof propped up by three mostly-glass walls. The idea is to create an open-air feel for customers, and to allow passersby a good look at the products laid out on display tables inside.

When Apple staff arrived at the store the next morning, they used chairs to create a protective barrier around the owl, then alerted the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to the incident. ODFW personnel subsequently captured the animal and delivered it to Audubon's Wildlife Care Center, where it was treated for injuries.

A few days later, the owl was on the road to recovery, with no broken bones or life-threatening ailments commonly associated with window collisions. Audubon later updated its report to note the raptor was successfully treated and released into the wild.

With modern buildings trending toward glass-and-steel architecture, birds are increasingly at risk of potentially fatal window strikes. And like the owners of many newly constructed or renovated structures, Apple is no stranger to these collisions.

Last month, for example, Apple said it would dim store lights at its new North Michigan Ave. flagship in Chicago on a nightly basis to avoid bird strikes during this year's migration season. The company was alerted to a potential window strike epidemic after a local watchdog group discovered a number of dead birds around the store.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    People who live in glass retail stores shouldn't throw stones... or be surprised when birds slam into the windows.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I wonder if Apple could do some research on the light frequencies birds see that we don't. Given the right frequencies, flashing some low-power LEDs at various angles onto the glass might give birds enough visual warning that the glass is there and solid without being visible to humans at all.
    Solinetroxtallest skilminicoffee
  • Reply 3 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    softeky said:
    I wonder if Apple could do some research on the light frequencies birds see that we don't. Given the right frequencies, flashing some low-power LEDs at various angles onto the glass might give birds enough visual warning that the glass is there and solid without being visible to humans at all.
    👆 I've had the same thought, but I didn't think of using light waves invisible to the human eye that would make the glass look like a solid structure to birds.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,734member
    Stickers and screens would ruin the aesthetic, I suppose.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Just turning off light at night will help massively.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Are birds attracted to the light, repelled or indifferent to it?
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Are birds attracted to the light, repelled or indifferent to it?
    Yes
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Or, they could start using "Ornilux Bird Protection Glass". Just search for it online.
    docno42
  • Reply 9 of 15
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 105member
    softeky said:
    I wonder if Apple could do some research on the light frequencies birds see that we don't. Given the right frequencies, flashing some low-power LEDs at various angles onto the glass might give birds enough visual warning that the glass is there and solid without being visible to humans at all.
    Most birds are tetrachromatic, and many of them can see in the UV spectrum.  Unfortunately for raptors, their UV sensitivity is poor, especially for owls.  Owls, being nocturnal, are monochromatic, since the monochromatic rods are far more sensitive to light than the color detecting cones.

    So UV light flashing on the windows would not have helped this owl.
    almondroca
  • Reply 10 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,171moderator
    There are a couple of things they can do, they can have motion detectors that play a loud sound on detecting an approaching bird. They can also use electrochromic panels/film behind the glass that are either fully opaque or just have bars across and either activated by motion detection or just at night. It's pretty hard to determine what would be effective in practise though.
    docno42
  • Reply 11 of 15
    tulkas said:
    Stickers and screens would ruin the aesthetic, I suppose.
    I have tried anti-bird strike stickers of various types on the picture window in my living room. They don't work. On one occasion a bird hit the window less than a foot from one of the stickers. 
  • Reply 12 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,847member
    yoyo2222 said:
    tulkas said:
    Stickers and screens would ruin the aesthetic, I suppose.
    I have tried anti-bird strike stickers of various types on the picture window in my living room. They don't work. On one occasion a bird hit the window less than a foot from one of the stickers. 
    Sure, but maybe he was avoiding the sticker. :\
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Or they could release flying wolves to scare off the owls.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    I remember seeing this several years back as experimental tech...

    wasnt sure it it was successful or not.  If it works, I wonder what it would’ve taken to incorporate the tech, or if it even could be.

    http://www.ornilux.com/
  • Reply 15 of 15
    dsddsd Posts: 172member
    What a hoot!
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