Windows: A Fatal Attraction for Birds

Has a wild bird ever hit your window? Did you wonder if it survived? Well, these window-strikes are very common because birds simply do not see the glass. In certain light-conditions, the windows reflect the sky, or nearby plants. Some windows allow them to see through the house to the yard on the other side.

Many window-strikes prove fatal for the bird. A bird can easily break its neck, or suffer internal injuries. Pet birds are also at risk, when flying free in your house. Even when birds are merely stunned by the impact, they often get captured by a cat or hawk while recovering.

Windows are an international problem for birds. Ornithologists guess that up to 1,000,000,000 wild birds may die from window collisions every year. If this number seems impossible, think of the modern skyscraper. These buildings can form a wall of tinted, reflective windows 20-50 stories high. One glass-walled skyscraper may kill 10,000 birds a year!

Here are some ways to cut down on the window-strikes:

  • Draw the curtains or blinds.

  • Put decals or frosting on windows.

  • Reposition your birdfeeder. Place the feeder directly at the window, where birds cannot build up momentum if suddenly spooked by cats or hawks. Alternately, place your feeder more than 10 feet from the window.

  • Try a different window for the birdfeeder. If one window seems to attract a lot of window collisions, try a new one. Perhaps the new window will have less troublesome reflections for birds.

  • Use bird netting. Stretch the netting a few inches from the windows, especially near your bird-feeder. This gives the birds some cushioning if they accidentally head for the glass.