October 29, 2014

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Birds & Windows

It’s been estimated that more than 1 billion (yes, BILLION!!) birds are killed each year in North America from hitting windows.  Add in another 500 million to 1 billion killed by cats and you have an astronomical number of bird deaths per year. With those  high numbers it’s a wonder I we see any birds at all.  This White Throated Sparrow flew into my office window here at home yesterday.  He was lucky he lived, though stunned for a fewl hours I’m pretty confident he’ll survive.

White Throated Sparrow

There really isn’t any sure fire way to keep birds from flying into your windows. We have a few light catchers in our kitchen window and I still have seen birds fly into that.  The main reason birds fly into windows is because of the reflection off the glass. When glass reflects the sky and clouds or the trees in the yard birds can’t tell the difference.  Some birds will repeatedly fly into a window because they see their own reflection and think of that as another bird competing for their territory or mate. These birds generally are unharmed as they don’t fly full force into the glass but merely bump it. There are plenty of suggestions on the internet you can find to cut down on bird/window collisions but most are so impractical in that no one would utilize them. One suggestion was to move all your plants away from your windows.  Who’s going to do that? Why have plants!, or this suggestion, “make sure to cover your windows with decals or light catchers keeping the spacing no more than 4 inches apart”.  If your going to extremes like that does it even make since to have a window at all?  Here are a few of the more practical suggestions.

  • Don’t wash your windows as often. Dirty windows don’t reflect as much light.
  • Install blinds or shades.
  • Don’t place bird feeders close to your windows or up against them.
  •  Install window awnings to shade the window.
  • Apply an opaque film to the window that still allows you to see out.
  • Install a mesh screen barrier over the outside of the problem window.

No matter what precautions we take birds sadly will still crash into our windows lets just hope our efforts can get that number from 1 billion down into the millions. If you have any of your own tips we would love to hear them.

Enjoy the Outdoors !!

Comments

  1. I’ve had success keeping birds away from the sliding glass door by taping a long strand of 1″ wide ribbon to the outside on the glass door. It blows in the wind, even the slightest breeze, and the movement keeps the birds away from the window. I can still see out just fine. When the tape or the ribbon wear out after a few months, I replace it. A small thing to do to save our feathered friends. The rest of my windows have the screen on the outside which reduces the reflection and does not cause a problem.

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