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Thread: Bird problems

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Bird problems

    The College I work at has a lovely chapel, with a wonderful C.T. Lewis pipe organ, which is pretty much in original condition (i.e. it's not been tampered with).

    Occasionally, birds fly into the chapel, then get stranded because they're too bird-brained to work out how to get out again. Opening the windows is only moderately successful.

    Sometimes, horror, they fly up above the organ and **** into it, messy and not particularly good for the pipes. Yesterday a kurrawong was actually IIN the organ and flew out when I turn it on.

    Is there a mesh or netting I could put over the instrument that won't affect the sound? Has anyone had any success with this sort of thing. Please, if you're are offering advice based on "a good idea" and not practical experience, I'm not terribly interested.

    thanks again
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  2. #2
    Commodore con Forza musicalis's Avatar
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    Sorry, no advice, just an old and true nightmare.
    One day I was frightened by a big wounded bat, covered with dust, which crawled on the ground in my back while I played. This day I have made some dissonances.
    Friendly yours. Jean-Paul

    Music is my placebo

    Please visit my channel and web site to hear the music I compose
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  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Mat's Avatar
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    Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
    -- Victor Hugo


  4. #4
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Is it possible to put mesh on the windows to stop them getting in?
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  5. #5
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Mike - I'm going to talk with the organ maintenance firm about seeing if a lightweight mesh can be drapped over the top of the instrument (it's a box shaped organ that has all it's bits and pieces in one location) without affecting the sound. I was thinking of tennis court neting ...

    The kurrawongs actually come in through the front door, so we are being vigilent about keeping the inner front doors closed (but not locked) during the day.

    I noticed there was bird **** all over the altar (not so bad as it's a Calvinist chapel) and, worse, far worse, on the side of a sharp side diapason!! How rude!
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  6. #6
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Thanks Mat, you beat me to it - that's just the sort of thing I was looking for.

    CT64, I know of one church here that had a similar problem and they installed one of these ultrasonic devices (okay a slightly older one but it did the same thing). No major fauna meets orgelwerke issues since.

    On the other hand, you could also try pacifying them instead of annoying them. Here's another true story - not quite as alarming as the one from musicalis, but also not without charm.
    Back in the dim dark ages when I was organ scholar at the Anglican cathedral here, I was preparing some Messiaen for a recital, specifically two pieces from the Livre d'Orgue, one of which was the Chants d'Oiseaux. As I was practicing this (playing the Robins song I think) a sparrow flew in and perched itself opposite the organ. And yes, as you may have guessed, it actually started a dialogue with me. I wasn't sure at first, but I deliberately stopped playing to make sure, let it chirp on for a bit and then started up again, at which point the sparrow would stop whilst I let the organ "chirp" and then the sparrow would have some more to say. It was definitely having some sort of conversation and I found it absolutely delightful. I think Olivier would have loved it too. I remember telling this to Hans Ola Ericsson (Messiaen's last student) and his reaction was the same as mine. I'm pretty sure I recall him saying something like "Messiaen would have been thrilled to know that."

    That said, I suspect trying to play a kurrawongs song on the organ could possibly prove a bit problematic!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  7. #7
    Commodore con Forza
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    If you could train the sparrow to do that in front of an audience ....

  8. #8
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Now there's a thought!
    Particularly since it seems to be good enough for a cat ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeoT66v4EHg
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  9. #9
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    I realise that "currawong" isn't spelt with a "k" ... my bad. Here's a picture of our lovely native Aussie bird.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Interesting - I have seen both spellings (although I notice the "c" spelling seems to be the most commonly accepted). Closely related to the Aust. Magpie (and they have a beautiful song) they can be quite friendly birds. We've had both varieties frequenting our back yard for many years (they tend to take turns since they're fairly territorial).

    I share you're concern though about them getting inside the organ. A spooked currawong could possibly do some damage to some of the internal workings.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  11. #11
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    There are many kurrawongs in and about the College at present yelling their collecive heads off as I type this ... it is Spring, however, they're all horny I suspect.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  12. #12
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
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    Contra, is currawong/kurrawong some kind of Aboriginal word for "pipe-sh*tter"?
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

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