Preventing Bird Window Collisions

November 15th, 2008

Windows provide a view to outside world.  For many, spending idle hours staring out of the window at the birds and nature in their backyards is a true pleasure.  Unfortunately, these same windows can be a hazard for birds who don’t see them and slam into a window.  About half of all birds who fly into a window either die immediately or later perish because of their injuries.  Preventing window collisions is extremely important!

There are several things that you can do the make your home safer for the birds that live right outside.  Unfortunately, many well meaning people exacerbate the situation by placing bird feeders and bird baths either too close to a window or, ironically, to far away from a window.  Placing a feeder extremely close to a window will prevent birds from gaining enough speed to seriously hurt themselves when they strike a window.  On the flip side, putting a feeder far enough away from a window will give birds enough time to avoid a window strike once they realize what is happening.  Generally, feeders should either be placed within about 3 feet of a window or 30 feet away from a window.  For this reason, window bird feeders are actually a safe way to feed your feathered friends.  On the other hand, feeders placed away from windows should be placed FAR away from windows.

Another way to avoid window collisions is to make them more obvious to the birds.  Windows with lattices are much safer for birds because birds can clearly see the lattice.  The closer the lattice design is, the more effective this will be.  Of course, investing in new windows isn’t always a practical option, but there are other simple tips you can use to make the glass stand out.  Simply closing your blinds or shutters is often enough to prevent birds from hitting your window.  Installing window screens will also help to prevent collisions, and it has an added benefit of slowing birds down if they do happen to strike a window.  Many people also decorate their windows to make them stand out.  This can be a fun activity to involve kids in as well.  For example, many people like to put up festive pictures in their windows like snowflakes or snowmen in the winter.  Window alert decals are an easy way to make windows stand out to birds.  These decals easily attach to your window.  They are unobtrusive, as to the human eye, they look like frosted or tinted glass.  However, to birds, these simple decorative decals stand out, which prevents birds from hitting the glass.

Whatever you decide to do, I encourage you all to consider this problem seriously.  Window collisions are one of the leading preventable causes of death for wild birds.  While we all love the birds that grace our yard, we must be careful to protect their safety, especially when we invite them with seed or water.  At this point, in many ways, they really have become our responsibility.  So lets keep them safe!

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4 Responses to “Preventing Bird Window Collisions”

  1. Dawn Fine on January 4, 2009 9:42 am

    Thanks for that good information! I have another problem and dont quite know how to handle it…We live full time in a Motorhome…all the windows except for the windshield are reflective…the birds can see themselves in the windows and also i suppose they see wherever we are parked …trees etc reflected in the windows..
    the birds will sometimes peck at themselves in the windows…
    and sometimes they will fly into the windows….
    Would you know what we could do to prevent the birds from hurting themselves?
    thanks
    Nice website.are you on a blogging hiatus?

  2. scott on March 3, 2009 11:47 pm

    Yes, I suppose I have been on a bit of a blog hiatus! Life has been too busy lately — it’s nice to get back to blogging about the birds. Many birds mistake a reflection for an aggressive bird, and they will attack to defend themselves. Unfortunately, this often leads to unnecessary injuries. Cardinals are especially prone to pecking at themselves in a window. We sell a product called the “Cardinal Window Alert” that should fix this problem. It is a window decal that is installed around the edges of a window where birds often perch. It prevent Cardinals and other birds from mistaking their reflection for an aggressive bird. You can find it here: http://birdingdepot.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_32&products_id=891

  3. Cindy McNatt on March 8, 2009 12:05 pm

    I live in one of those 1950s contemporary modern houses in Southern California with walls of glass. Bird hits were a big problem for me. The ONLY thing that worked was to hang bird netting (used for fruit trees) out a few feet from the windows. The bonus is, because the netting is fine, and the color black, you virtually can’t see it from inside. So the view from indoors are perfect. What’s really strange tho, is I think the birds CAN see it. They very rarely run into the netting.

  4. Steve Kieler on February 7, 2011 3:10 pm

    Please send me any catalogs pretaining to birds and squirrels
    Thank you

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