Birds and Window Collisions

Reflective Windows - Every year millions of birds will fly full tilt into a window and are seriously hurt or killed. The problem is that when a window shows a reflection of the sky to the bird in flight, it cannot distinguish between real sky and the window; hence a collision. This is most common during bird migration seasons, but can happen during breeding season and in the winter as well. This problem is particularly true for insulated and reflective glass that is used in newer homes and modern office buildings to replace whole walls. As aesthetically pleasing as these windows might be, they can be lethal to flying songbirds.

See-through Windows - Another situation, which is less common but just as serious is when an addition or wing of home has windows on both sides of the wing so it looks like an opening through the building. This kind of setup can be a problem for owls, songbirds, and even pheasants (windows seldom survive the collision with the pheasant).

Ardor of Breeding Season - During breeding season, male cardinals, woodpeckers, and mockingbirds may “fight” their own reflections in windows (and car mirrors); such ardor must be respected. They’ll stop banging into the window as the breeding season ends and ardor wanes.

Fright At Feeder – Birds can fly into windows when they’re frightened while visiting a feeding station. The solution here is to move the feeder a considerable distance away from the window or immediately adjacent to the window (so birds don’t get up to flight speed before hitting the window.

Break Up The Reflection – The best way to prevent songbirds crashing into windows is to use some device to break up the reflection of the sky. The best and easiest technique is to use window screens if that is feasible with the design of the window. You can plant shrubs or trees that will block the sun from hitting the window that creates some reflection. A window awning can serve the same purpose.

Temporary Fixes – If most of your problems are during the migration season, then you can rig some bird netting over the window temporarily to break up the reflection. Another trick is to use “flash tape” which looks like audio tape and is used to repel birds from a vegetable garden.

Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence that devices such as plastic falcons, owls and balloons work to reduce window collisions. These devices may have some value in keeping birds away from fruit trees or vegetable gardens, but do not seem to reduce collisions. The same is true for the stick-on silhouettes of owls or falcons that attach to the window. In the end, you need to break up the reflection of the sky to do the job.

Try window decals.



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