Bird Window Collisions
More birds are killed each year from striking windows than from any other direct cause of death, and the problem is growing as window sizes increase and houses get larger. It is estimated that each U.S. home kills at least two birds each year. Up to a staggering ONE BILLION birds are killed in window collisions each year.
Birds don't recognize glass the way we do. They see the reflection of the sky and trees and it seems like a continuation of the sky to them. They are also attracted to inside vegetation, not realizing it is behind glass.
Don't think that a bird has never hit your window because you have not witnessed it, or found their bodies in your yard. Many birds fly away, but are gravely injured and later die from the blunt force trauma of hitting the window.
For more information on this issue:
How Can I Help?
From the American Bird Conservancy:
1. If you are unable to alter the glass itself by retrofitting or installing bird safe glass or installing screens in front of your windows, Acopian Bird Savers (also known as Zen Wind Curtains) are unobtrusive, as well as highly effective. See birdsavers.com for more information.
2. Use tape to create patterns. Any opaque tape can work, but translucent ABC BirdTape transmits light and is made to last outdoors. Visit birdsmartglass.org for more information.
3. Most window films designed for external use are not patterned and will not deter birds. However, there are good options. White CollidEscape is see-through from the inside, opaque from the outside. Solyx Bird Safety Film has narrow horizontal or vertical stripes. With Feather Friendly’s ‘do it yourself’ tape, the backing is pulled off, leaving just the pattern. Find links at birdsmartglass.org.
4. Apply Tempera paint (available at most art supply and craft stores) freehand with brush or sponge, or use a stencil as a template. Tempera is long-lasting, even in rain, and non-toxic, but comes right off with a damp rag or sponge. Find stencils at michaels.com, amazon.com, or download stencils for free at spraypaintstencils.com.
5. You can protect birds with lightweight netting over the window or removable screens. Several companies,(birdscreen.com, birdsavers.com) sell screens or other barriers that can be attached with suction cups or eye hooks. Or use a motorized solar shade (sunsetter.com_easyshades) to make glass safe when you’re not there. These options must be several inches in front of the window, so birds don’t hit the glass after hitting the net.
6. What about prefabricated decals? Birds see decals shaped like raptors as obstacles but not as predators. To be effective, any type of decal must be spaced within 2 inches of each other, more closely than recommended by most manufacturers (windowdressingetc.com, windowalert.com).
If you have bird feeders set up, move the feeders and bird baths to within three feet of windows,if possible. You'll have a wonderful up-close view and the birds will not be able to build up momentum if they do fly into the window.
Move inside plants away from windows so that birds do not mistake them for outdoor habitat.
When landscaping, try to place trees and shrubs away from your windows (and if you do place them near, take the above listed precautions!) in order to prevent reflections in the glass that look like a continuation of your yard.