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You’re relaxing at home when – THUD! – you hear the unmistakable sound of a bird hitting your window.
Why do birds do this? And is there a way you can prevent it? We’ve got answers to both of these questions.
You might think birds fly into windows simply because they can’t see the glass. In a way, that’s accurate! Most birds hit windows because they see the sky and trees reflected in the glass, which makes them think they have a clear flight path. Unfortunately, most birds that fly into windows die either from their injuries or because another animal attacked them while they were stunned from the hit.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it is estimated that around one billion – yes, billion – birds die in the US from flying into windows each year. That can have a huge impact on the ecosystem, food chain, and the ability of certain species to thrive. Making your windows bird-safe is a great way to ensure you never have to hear that thud again – and it’s good for your local ecosystem!
Here are a few ways to make your windows and sliding glass doors bird-safe:
The key to bird-proofing your windows is to break up the reflection that the bird sees on the exterior of your home. Here are some simple ways to do that:
If you have bird baths or bird feeders near windows or a patio door, move them to a spot further away from your home. This lessens the chance that a bird will hit your window when coming to or leaving the feeder.
Ensure all of your windows have screens to help break up the appearance of a perfect reflection. Since screens typically only cover one half of your window, look for magnetic screens to place on the other half.
Add bird safety window decals to the outside of your windows, placing them around 2 inches apart. Brightly colored or holographic stickers are best, as they give maximum visibility and contrast.
When possible, avoid opening your blinds all the way. Keeping them at least partially down ensures that there is something behind the glass close to the window to help avoid a perfect reflection.
Window film is another great way to keep birds from hitting your windows. It also has the bonus benefit of increasing privacy! Decorative window film will work, but you can also find anti-collision window film designed specifically to prevent birds from flying into windows.
Want to help a feathered friend who’s had a run-in with one of your windows? There are some steps you can take, but keep in mind that this is a wild animal. Cover the bird completely in a towel, being careful not to touch it, and place the bird in a cardboard box or paper bag with plenty of ventilation. Move the bird to a dark, quiet place. Check on it about every half-hour. If the bird seems to recover, take the box or bag back outside and open the container up. Again, do not touch the bird. See if the bird flies away on its own. If it’s been a few hours and the bird has not made a recovery, get in touch with a local wildlife vet.