Ottawa kid Charlie Sobcov has invented a new material that will help stop birds colliding with windows. It will save millions of birds’ lives that are lost every year to tall buildings.
Charlie Sobcov is only in eighth grade and already has an impressive invention in his portfolio. For his school science project, he has come up with this invention that will save birds from colliding fatally into windows.
It is a painted plastic decals that is placed in the middle of the window. The beauty of this invention it not only warns the birds about the windows but also provides a clear unobstructed view because of the transparent nature of the decals. There are other similar decals available but they are painted black and block the window view.
The color of the decals are invisible to the naked eye -- they are in the ultraviolet range so only the birds can see it. When they see the painted decal, the birds take a detour and avoid hitting the windows.
Sobcov told CBC.ca that he fell in love with birds during a trip to Costa Rica four years ago and learned about the diminishing bird population around the word. He also read that about 500 million birds die every year because of the window collisions during their migratory paths. Sobcov decided to do something about it and he came up with this invention.
He researched bird vision and found that birds’ eyes respond to colors in the ultraviolet range. He then searched for a fluorescent ultraviolet paint and found one near Montreal. The company creates those paints for “cosmic bowling” to make the lanes glow. In normal light they are invisible but when ultraviolet “black lights” shine on it, it emits a different visible color.
Sobcov tested this decal in one of the cottage rooms and found birds avoid the windows. He then posted a small ad in the local newspaper to test it at various places including some who wanted to buy the decals from him.
For now he is concerned about finishing the project by February and later may decide to market the new invention.