10 Things You Can Do To Reduce Bird vs. Window Collisions
Up to 1 billion birds may be killed annually in North America from colliding with windows. Some birds die on impact while others are stunned and may fly away. However, even those who fly away my die later from internal hemorrhaging and brain swelling or because their injury and disorientation made them more susceptible to predation.
Birds fly into a window because they don't know it's a window. When they see the average window they see the reflection of trees or sky and think they can fly through. Your sticking a few stickers or hawk silhouettes on the glass won't solve the problem; birds are agile fliers and they'll perceive that they can fly between the stickers. But there are things that you can do reduce the risks.
- Use taut exterior window "bug" screens and leave them up year-round. Screens break up the reflection and help cushion the blow and reduce injury if a bird does hit the window.
- Apply CollidEscape to the outside of your windows — an easy-to-apply vinyl window film that reduces reflections on the outside of the window while allowing viewers from inside to see out.
- Place vertical exterior tape strips on the glass. Strips must not be set more than 10 centimeters apart.
You can also paint patterns on the outsides of windows with soap or tempera paint (which can be wiped off with a sponge but will not be washed away by rain). You can find stencils and tempera paint at art and craft supply stores.
- Install frosted or etched windows with less reflective surface area. This can be done with new windows, while craft etching kits are available for existing windows.
- Create movement that can help birds avoid windows. For example, hang ribbons or other material in strips no more than 5 centimeters apart on the outside of windows for the full width of the glass. If you like hawk silhouettes, make them from aluminum or wood and hang them by a chain or rope from an overhang.
- Use external sun shades or awnings to minimize reflection and transparency of windows.
Keep drapes and blinds closed whenever possible to reduce the illusion that birds can fly through the window.
- Position houseplants and flowers away from windows where they cannot be seen from outside to reduce the likelihood that birds will see them as sources of shelter or food.
- Strategically place bird feeders and baths to reduce collisions. Keep birdbaths and feeders closer than 3 feet from the window or farther than 20 feet away. If the birds are very close to the window, they will not build up sufficient speed for an injury if they fly at the window, and if they are much farther away they will be more likely to avoid the window or recognize it as part of the house.
- If putting in new windows, angle the glass downward so it does not reflect the sky and trees.
Next: More Ways You Can Help Protect Birds Around Your Home »
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