Every year, about a billion birds die from flying into windows. If the strike itself doesn’t kill them outright, a stunned bird lying on the ground is easy pickings for a predator. Even if they manage to revive and fly away, they may die later of internal injuries.
Birds strike windows because their bird-brains do not see or recognize window glass. During the day they see the sky, clouds and trees in the window and do not realize they are reflections. They think they can simply fly through them. At night they crash into lighted windows for reasons scientists don’t quite comprehend. This means it is up to humans to prevent bird strikes.
Identify the Window First
The first thing to be done is to find the windows that birds are most likely to strike. These are usually a pair of corner windows or picture windows that reflect what is outside. If there are feeders or birdbaths near these windows, the homeowner might want to move them. They should be out of view of the window altogether or at least 30 feet away from the window. A birdbath or feeder can also be placed three feet or less from the window. In this case, the bird won’t have enough time or distance to collide with the glass at top speed.
The homeowner can cover the outside of a window with a film that allows people to see out but does not allow a bird or anything else to see in. Grills, shutters and tape can be installed on the outside of the window, and vertical blinds should be kept half-open. Awnings cut down on reflections, and the window can be streaked with soap or paint to break reflections up.
A very effective way to prevent bird strike is to place netting over the window that’s at least three inches from the windowpane. This not only stops birds from crashing into the window, but stops territorial birds from attacking their own reflection. Experts recommend netting with mesh about 5/8 of an inch in diameter. That way the bird will simply bounce off and won’t become tangled up in the netting.
A homeowner who is having new windows put in might ask for double hung windows with screens outside the glass or windows that are angled in a way that doesn’t reflect the yard. The homeowner should be careful of this solution, because it might void the window’s warranty.
Stickers and decals can be placed all over a large window. They must be close enough for the bird not to think it can fly between them. If a homeowner finds this a little unsightly, they can find stickers that reflect ultraviolet light. These stickers seem transparent to humans, but birds will see them and avoid them.
A picture window with a view to another bright window in another room makes the bird believe it has a conduit to the other side. It helps to cover the bright window either with a shade or blinds or by simply shutting the door.
These precautions go a long way in ensuring that birds are able to fly and live out their lives safely.