Evidence of things unseen
July 16, 2011 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Ghostly images remain on windows after bird strikes. No blood, no gore.
posted by rtha (33 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Forgot to add: via my sweetheart, who sent me the link.
posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

This clearly demonstrates that Hogwarts' mail delivery system is in dire need of an overhaul.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:34 AM on July 16, 2011 [11 favorites]

Yeah, the very first one reminded me of Hedwig. *sobs*
posted by elizardbits at 11:40 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The day after SNL first aired their famous "More cowbell" skit, a pigeon flew into my windshield, leaving something like these behind. GUESS WHAT SONG WAS PLAYING!
posted by kimota at 11:53 AM on July 16, 2011

Those are beautiful. I propose banning those little bird-shaped stickers that tell birds they're about to fly into a window in order to bring more such beauty into the world.

That makes sense, right?
posted by Dasein at 12:21 PM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I found a pigeon in the front yard with an injured wing and a broken leg. When I went inside to get a box for her I saw the image on the picture window. It looked like a snow angel. Since it was my window that did it I took her to the vet (they treated her for free) and finally got her healed up enough to take her to a pigeon rescue organization. Who knew there was such a thing?

I know she was just a flying rat but she was actually a sweet animal and because of her broken leg, I named her Eileen.
posted by dutcherino at 12:31 PM on July 16, 2011 [10 favorites]

dutcherino: "I know she was just a flying rat"

We didn't always think so. I recommend this book. I really like pigeons. I want to pet their little round heads... But I guess I also think rats make really good pets, and unlike pigeons, the wild ones actually can spread disease.
posted by danny the boy at 12:45 PM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

A bit more about powder down.
posted by maggieb at 12:48 PM on July 16, 2011

This underlines the deep moral reasoning behind my refusal to clean windows. Or something.
posted by vorpal bunny at 12:50 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dust, mixed with the natural oil in feathers. Quail are constantly taking dust baths in the dry earth in my garden, and I have seen many of these impressions on my windows after quail are flushed by a hawk and seek escape in a reflection.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:02 PM on July 16, 2011

I thought this was incredibly eerie when I first saw it but now I have "Put 'em on the Glass" stuck in my head. So this is basically a win.
posted by dhammond at 1:03 PM on July 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was pleasantly surprised by this link, mostly because I took "bird strike" to mean something completely different.
posted by flechsig at 1:05 PM on July 16, 2011

These are very cool.

Pigeons, however, are not.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:05 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to be a janitor at the Plains Art Museum. One day, while sweeping the floor in the gift shop, a crow hit the window and left a mark just like in the article. It made an incredible noise and fell to the ground, dead. I didn't know about powder down, but that didn't make the mark any less beautiful.

I stared at that mark for a long time. In places, it was just a smear, but elsewhere, I swear you could count individual feathers. I turned to go back to sweeping, but something kept me. It took a while to realize that there was single crow circling and circling over the parking lot. It was there for a long time.
posted by fake at 1:15 PM on July 16, 2011 [22 favorites]

I did not know that birds suffered from dandruff.
posted by Decani at 1:23 PM on July 16, 2011

Many years ago, I was driving from California to Denver in March with some friends. We were on a stretch of major highway in the middle of nowhere mostly frequented by truckers. It was snowing, and my car decided to crap out. I pulled over to the side of the road, called AAA and decided to stretch my legs by walking along the fence that separated the shoulder from the pasture land. After going about 15 feet, I noticed one of the most tragic and oddly comic sights I've ever seen: scores of little bird butts pointing straight up in the snow. I suppose in the heavy snowfall, they were getting blown into the big rigs.

The bird ghosts are much nicer.
posted by smirkette at 1:37 PM on July 16, 2011

dutcherino: did you call her Eileen because she had a broken leg?
posted by MuffinMan at 1:55 PM on July 16, 2011

MuffinMan: Eileen DID lean. Rarely do you get a chance to find someone such a perfect name.
posted by dutcherino at 2:19 PM on July 16, 2011

I took "bird strike" to mean something completely different.

You're thinking of that phenomenon where birds sit idle until you increase the ratio black sunflower in the bird feeder? And then relations really break down and your patio gets covered in feces? Thank goodness for professional labor negotiators. I have one on retainer. He weighs 12 pounds including his slinky tail and knows how to get a grackle's attention.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:40 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know she was just a flying rat but she was actually a sweet animal and because of her broken leg, I named her Eileen.
posted by dutcherino

posted by carping demon at 2:58 PM on July 16, 2011

When I first entered my temporary flat in Southampton two years ago, a hilarious ghost gull with outstretched wings was centered on the middle pane of my living room window. Never seen this before. Quite hilarious, although I felt sorry for the bird: "la-dee-daa I can fly through there oh bang."
posted by Namlit at 3:08 PM on July 16, 2011

"I had a parakeet when I was a kid. That was the only pet I really enjoyed. We used to let him out of his cage and he would fly around, crash into these huge mirrors my mother had put in. Have you ever heard of this interior design principle, that it gives you 'a feeling of space'? What kind of jerk walks up to a mirror and goes, Hey look, there's a whole other room in there. And there's a guy in there that looks just like me."

"But the parakeet would fall for this. I'd let him out of his cage, he'd fly around the room and, BANG! With his little head, right into the mirror. And they have no helmets, no protection when they fly. It's just straight back, the way they do their hair. And besides, even if he thinks the mirror is another room, you'd think he'd at least try to avoid hitting the other parakeet."

"But you don't have to be that bright to qualify as a parakeet. It's a two-question test: Can you fly? Is your head smooth? You're a parakeet. Congratulations, get your wings."

~Jerry Seinfeld
posted by bwg at 4:32 PM on July 16, 2011

I've seen lots of bird whack into windows and hop away a bit dazed but soon able to fly off just fine, so although I admit on a detached level that these images should be beautiful and ethereal, to me they are just hilarious. WHUMP.
posted by Mizu at 4:44 PM on July 16, 2011

The house I rented in Glen Cove, Long Island, had occurrences like these. It seemed to be particularly caused by lace curtains, like you see in that photo essay.

I took the curtains down, against the wishes of the owner, and put them back up whenever she came to inspect.

What I've always wondered is, that sometimes I could see the bird that made the imprint lying in the dirt below the window, and then in an hour or two that bird would be gone.

I'd like to think it is because the bird recovered and woke up. Or else an outdoors cat ran away with it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:52 PM on July 16, 2011

Happened once where I worked. We called it the "shroud of tern."
posted by njohnson23 at 4:52 PM on July 16, 2011 [14 favorites]

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
by the false azure in the windowpane...
posted by entropone at 5:17 PM on July 16, 2011 [5 favorites]

The day of my grandpa's funeral when family and friends were gathered at his house, a bird flew into his big picture window. It left the exact same impression/profile as was on the cloth that covered his coffin later that day. It was beautiful and touching.
posted by click at 6:00 PM on July 16, 2011

They look fake.
Speaking of fake, I wish you hadn't put that sad story in my brain.
posted by Glinn at 8:25 PM on July 16, 2011

Put a bird on it!
posted by speicus at 3:50 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

They look fake.

I assure you not. Nobody would have faked that gull I'm mentioning up-thread, on the second floor, in that much detail. I got sad when the window cleaners removed it, it was like a real shadow companion.
posted by Namlit at 7:22 AM on July 17, 2011

These are really beautiful. I've never seen them before or heard of anything like this, so the internet has worked for me today. Yay! Thanks, rtha.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2011

metafilter: we anthropomorphize pigeons
posted by tehloki at 1:37 PM on July 19, 2011

kind of like: gyotaku, japanese fish printing.
google image search: gyotaku
posted by victory_laser at 2:53 AM on July 21, 2011

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