Bird scare decals
April 27, 2005 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Little birdies keep banging into my large window. I want to make some decals to apply to the glass to scare them away. You can buy these, but I'd like to cut some of my own from a sheet. The material is pliable plastic which sticks to the glass via static charge. Anyone know what it is called (and where to buy it)?
posted by kk to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
I believe what you're looking for is "static vinyl." Not sure where to buy it, but I'm sure a Froogle/Google search will give you a bajillion options.
posted by houseofdanie at 9:06 AM on April 27, 2005

Most vinyl will work for this. Either try a home and garden shop, where it will usually be in festive holiday images, or go to Kinkos, and buy some of their sheet vinyl for, what, $2 each?
posted by klangklangston at 9:13 AM on April 27, 2005

Oh, by the way, the clear vinyl will work the best, as it tends to be just a bit thinner. But you can draw on it with markers, to make the SCARY SHAPES THAT BIRDS HATE!
posted by klangklangston at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2005

Here are 12 9"x12" coloured static cling vinyl sheets. You can buy 30 foot rolls of this stuff too, if you really want to go to town!
posted by fionab at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2005

Excellent timing on this post--I was thinking about asking for advice on something to stick on the palm rests of my PowerBook to keep it clean, and it looks like that stuff will be just the ticket.
posted by bcwinters at 9:34 AM on April 27, 2005

You could always just cut silhouettes out of paper and tape them up. They're just as effective.
posted by me3dia at 9:38 AM on April 27, 2005

I'd like to recommend against using vinyl. It's horrible for the environment which, by the sound of it, you are trying to save. Also, putting it up in a hot window would not be a good idea because vinyl releases dioxin when it is heated. Use paper.
posted by benightedly_heedful at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2005

Ummm...from what I've read and from talking to my spouse, a plastics engineer, vinyl emits dioxins when it burns (and even then only under low-combustion temperatures), not when it's necessarily just heated, nor when it's in the environment and it is recycleable , if you're worried about the scrap. I'm just saying...
posted by plinth at 10:39 AM on April 27, 2005

I had an idea a long time ago about using this stuff as sunglasses replacement for those who wear prescription glasses. I dreamed of marketing it as such and making a fortune. Thanks for the links!

Wait. Did I just type that out loud?
posted by lyam at 11:08 AM on April 27, 2005

plinth is correct: vinyl does emit dioxin (singular) when burned at less than plasma torch temperatures. Dioxins (and other big aromatics, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) are the result of any organic polymer burning at "low" (regular fire) temperatures, even wood. Forest fires produce a significant amount of the dioxin in the environment. Dioxin is a carcinogen, as are PAHs.

Far more dangerous than unsubstituted dioxin (a molecule composed of just carbon and hydrogen) are the chloro-dioxins which result from burning chlorine-containing organics like PVC or PCBs. Chlorodioxins (which is what the media usually means when "dioxins" are mentioned), are very strong carcinogens, but also very persistent in the environment (unlike PAHs which will degrade). Chlorinated plastics are generally far worse for the environment than non-chlorinated ones. If a plastic name has a C in it (PVC, or is a chloro- or -chloride, it has a much higher environmental burden than a non-chloroinated plastic.
posted by bonehead at 11:09 AM on April 27, 2005

Related. You may want your design to resemble stabilimenta. References here,and here, and here. The Lee Valley product can be bought here.
posted by Heatwole at 11:38 AM on April 27, 2005

lyam make it polarized and I'd be all over it.
posted by Mitheral at 2:10 PM on April 27, 2005

We stapled a crisscross pattern of yarn outside, across a tall and wide picture window (randomly w/ 3" to 4" gaps, about
1/2" from glass) There are 2 feeders a couple feet away that attract many birds (some of which were crashing into the window, to our horror).

The yarn looks cool (to my eye), has survived through a heavy winter, is cheap and easy to apply and most importantly, prevents our friends from being confused by the glass window (not one incident has occurred since its application and I'm by this window quite a lot). There is a goldfinch sitting on one of the strands as I write.
posted by The_Auditor at 2:55 PM on April 27, 2005

you can buy printable static cling material (at your preferred office supply store) if you want to print out designs.
posted by radioamy at 6:36 PM on April 27, 2005

Thanks, everyone, Static cling seems the way to go.
posted by kk at 9:43 AM on April 28, 2005

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