You’re sitting in your house minding your own business when you hear a loud bang. You get up to look and find that a bird has flown into a window and is lying on the ground either dead or stunned. An estimated 100 million birds are killed in window collisions every year. Why do birds crash into windows so much and what can be done to prevent it?
A bird will fly into a window when it sees features of the landscape like sky and trees reflected in it and thinks it is flying into open space. If the window strike does not kill the bird, it may be just temporarily stunned. Keep an eye on it. Most stunned birds will revive in a few minutes. If the bird does not appear to be making a recovery in an hour or so, carefully place it in a box and bring it to a wild bird rehabilitation facility.
Large, uncovered picture windows are the most likely targets for bird strikes. Check to see if your windows reflect the landscape from the outside. If they do, here are some tips to make your windows safer for birds.
Move bird feeders and bird baths away from windows.
Install awnings over the tops of your windows or plant tall trees or shrubs directly in front of the windows.
Diminish the reflectiveness of your windows by closing interior curtains and blinds.
Break up reflective surfaces by placing things on large window panes. You can buy semi-transparent window clings that are designed to prevent bird strikes. They peel on and off without damaging your windows and come in decorative (and not too noticeable) designs. You can also try plastic wrap, soap markings, or spray-on Christmas snow.
Attach bird netting to the outside of your windows. Look for the kind of small mesh netting (5/8”) used to protect garden plants from birds.
Hang objects in front of the outside of your windows. You can try tree branches or lightweight, shiny things like strips of plastic, old CDs, or aluminum pie plates.
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