On homes, skyscrapers, and everything in between, large glass windows can confuse birds and cause collisions. In New York City’s five boroughs alone, The New York City Audubon estimates that as many as 90,000 to 230,000 birds die each year after colliding with buildings. That number climbs to an estimated 350 million birds when tallying across the United States.
How can we stop this from happening? Orb weaver spiders, including common garden spiders, seem to have a solution.
This BBC World Service animation from the 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter podcast, hosted by biologist Patrick Aryee, shares a semi-secret trick to their web-weaving ways. Some orb weaver spiders lace their webs with UV-reflective threads called stabilimenta.
Humans can’t see the effect, but birds can. So why not add this feature to large windows?
Learn more about bird-friendly building design at NYCAudubon.org.
Then watch more incredible biomimicry stories on TKSST:
• Think Like a Tree: Problem solving with nature’s best ideas
• Mimicking shark skin to combat superbugs
• The Sticky Feet of Ants & Cockroaches
• How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen