A special glass coating, inspired by spider webs, has been used in the UK for the first time.
A lookout tower at Lindisfarne has installed it to protect the hundreds of species that flock to the island off the north-east coast of England.
The Ornilux glazing reflects ultraviolet light which can be seen by birds but appears invisible to humans.
Tests suggest it can cut bird strikes by about two-thirds, and work is being done to improve it further.
The technology was developed by the German company Arnold Glas.
“A friend of the owner of the company saw an article about the Orb-weaver spider,” said the firm’s export manager Natalie Kopp.
“Its web reflects UV light protecting it from being destroyed by birds as they can see it and do not fly through. The idea of developing a coating for glass… inspired by nature was born on the same evening.
“Development of the product took some years, and there were many glass and coating types tested before the current Mikado coating was found to be effective.”
Mikado is the German name for the game Pick-up sticks. It was chosen because the pattern looks like the sticks after they have been scattered on the ground.
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