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Hi , I have a mirror that I can find no room/use for in our house (mirror size approx 50 X 70cm). My first thought was to freecycle it but then I thought maybe I could use it in the garden. The next, very immediate thought was, oh dear, what if the the birds get confused and fly into it and injure themselves!. So does anyone have any experience of safely and effectively using mirrors in a garden which doesn't harm our feathered friends? many thanks, Janet
I use old mirrors in my garden, never had a problem with birds crashing into them. But the silvering off the back does deteriorate, so you're left with a pane of glass.
Mirrors are often seen incorporated into garden designs and you can purchase some nice mirror features for the garden, so on that basis I wouldn't have thought it was a mega problem birds flying into them or there would be lots of complaints and they wouldn't be a big seller. I'm happy to be wrong though. As Figrat says talking from experience your biggest problem would be the mirror turning into unreflected glass. An idea could be to paint the back of the mirror with something more durable to prevent the silvering from deteriorating.
In answer to your specific question about whether mirrors are dangerous to wildlife. When flying towards a mirror, a bird will see a similar bird flying towards them, on a collision course. A bird, who is watching where it is flying, will decrease speed and change course. No impact will occur.
Ordinary window panes, which don't offer good reflections, can be far more dangerous,
Thanks for all the replies!
Gary - yes what you say makes perfect sense - I have never seen 2 birds collide!
I will keep the mirror - I have just the spot in mind (for now!). Thanks, Janet
I had a huge mirror in my London garden and had to cover it with fabric one spring as a male blackbird was trying to fight the reflection that he saw; his female partner kept appearing to tick him off, but of course he would not listen. Up here in Norfolk, my small new greenhouse has killed 2 birds in the last few months; they are not expecting it to be there and they fly into the toughened glass and kill themselves. So I suggest that you keep an eye on your mirror in the mating season to make sure that no males are trying to do battle with it instead of feeding their new families.
OK artjak, I'll keep an eye on them! thanks