Hide design

To: "" <>
Subject: Hide design
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 16:37:56 +1000
A hide must have screened access (Coolart and Serendip are very good
for this). Ideally the entry corridor should give one time to adjust
one's eyes from daylight to the comparative dark inside.
  It must not face directly into the sun - looking south is best. 
Otherwise wide eaves or sunbreaking canopies are essential to keep
observers in shade and save eyesight.
  It does NOT have to be a solid box with fixed slots and immovable
Providing the BACK wall is solid, so observers dont show up in
silhouette, the front wall can be a series of slats, so a largeish group
of people from small kids to tall grown-ups can look through at a
natural level while standing.
  Benches and seats are good for people who intend to do serious
behaviour studies or counts for hours and hours; they need somewhere to
put notebook, lunch etc.
  A layer of second-hand carpet (replaced frequently if necessary) does
wonders for reducing the echo effect on wooden floors. So does a layer
of tanbark.
  The width should be sufficient for people to carry in scopes and
cameras on tripods, and for others to walk past without bumping the
tripod. Perhaps a railing at the back of a designated tripod area would

  In observatories with glass windows, the windows have to be coated
with reflective film so birds can't see in, and angled out at the top so
birds don't try to fly through them. (If you have your notebook on the
windowsill, next to the glass and turn a page, birds will see it and fly
off!). Some people complain the film distorts colours but I don't think
it's too bad. I took photos through the coated glass and no-one has
complained about the results.
Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe, Vic.
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