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Old 8th June 2010, 05:18 PM   #1
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Unhappy Garden decor vs welfare of our birds!

I was shopping in my local garden centre recently for some birdfood and window stickers to prevent window strikes, when I noticed a rather large garden mirror for sale leaning against one of the birdfood displays. I thought that mirrors are even more potentially harmful/fatal for birds than windows and so spoke to the sales assistant about it. Unfortunately he couldn't really help work out why they would sell garden mirrors, especially when they have such an impressive range of birdcare and other garden wildlife products including factsheets on Caring for garden birds by yourgardeningclub.co.uk

I rang their head office and spoke to a very helpful lady about this issue and she said she would let me know what the outcome is of my complaint. I've just had an email back from her explaining that they have agreed not to merchandise garden mirrors in the actual bird/wildlife section and plan to inform each franchise to do the same. However as she pointed out this was only half my concern and I'd suggested removing this product from their stores altogether. Their response was disappointing as I am apparently the first to express my concerns on this matter.

It seems such a shame and going against what they seemed to stand for which was the welfare of our garden birds and wildlife.
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Old 8th June 2010, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default Comments please?

Considering the decline in the population of garden birds, after such a harsh winter, am I a lone voice in the wilderness regarding profit, at the expense of wildlife care? Does anyone out there agree with me, your comments would be helpful in making a stand!

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Old 9th June 2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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I can see your point, AmandaMoo, and personally would not have anything so useless in our garden. (One more thing to clean!?!) However, in comparison to windows, which usually can, to at least a small extent, be seen through, and therefore need some type of sentinel attached to prevent window strikes, I would have thought that a bird flying towards a mirror would see itself, think it was another bird flying towards it and therefore take evasive action. I have heard of experiments where robins have seen themselves in mirrors and attacked them as rivals!
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Old 12th June 2010, 07:28 AM   #4
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Mirrors have been used in gardens for decoration for a very long time, and yes, the birds do see themselves in them and not fly into them.

It is clear glass that they can see through that is the issue.

Amanda, you are quite right to get them removed from the wildlife section of the store, but I can't see them ever not selling something that even garden designers 'recommend' to create an illusion of size in a small garden.
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Old 14th June 2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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mirrors in gardens are a dreadful idea. It is a cruel act and can cause disastrous outcomes...... when the bird sees itself it can use huge amounts of much needed energy defending its territory from what it sees as a rival. All this energy used up for what, a damn wind up as its its reflection but the poor bird doesn't know this.
Also there has been birds injured attacking there own reflections in mirrors.
IMO anyone who encourages birds into there garden should never have a mirror in the garden.
Saying this I also agree with Jandy the big boys won't stop selling mirrors for the garden but good on you Amanda moo for having ago.
Removing the mirrors from the bird section is IMO a poor move, leaving it in the bird section for more bird lovers to see might just prompt more people making complaints, in a way your complaint has helped the store out, IMO, they'll sell there mirrors from next to the rose bushes perhaps.
Hope you see what I mean.
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Old 28th June 2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Hi there, a bit late to join in, but I agree that mirrors have no place in gardens!
We have enough problems with bird strikes on our windows without adding any more. I have tried placing sentinals on all windows but they don't work. They hit our windows with and without the curtains closed. We thought the strikes on the ground floor were caused by birds seeing through the house and attempting to fly through themsleves, but they still did it with the curtains closed! At one stage I thought it was a particular brand/make of glass, but we have a mix of windows now, and we still get strikes. The most impressive ones are the woodpigeons who always seem to leave a full body print with outstretched wings.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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My eldest daughter is a window cleaner and has been for the past 9 years, So I put this point of mirrors in gardens to her and out of 380 customers she has only one customer who has a mirror in her garden, My daughter was asked once to clean this mirror and she refused to do it fo fear of birds flying into it, after she explained this to her customer she moved the mirror to the side of her conservatory because she also likes to have the birds visit her garden, Now my daughter will happily clean the mirror now that its not a danger to the birds.

I personally don't see the benefit of even having a mirror in your garden and for the expense I can find much better things for birds to spend my money on.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 08:09 AM   #8
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yesterday I noticed that over the road a huge tractor device was cutting the hedge very , very thin. That hedge is a haven for house sparrows, which are endangered, and all their nests and babies. I just hope nobody was hurt!
I don't really see why you'd need a mirror in the garden, either!
My number one pet hate is when people use pesticides though!
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