Preventing Birds from Colliding with Your Windows

Preventing Birds from Colliding with Your Windows

Collisions with residential glass windows are a leading cause of death for birds in North America. In daylight, their reflective surfaces create an illusion in which the landscape, vegetation and bright sky appear real. At night, lighted windows pose a problem when nocturnal migrants fly into them. If you’ve heard the impact or found an unfortunate victim of this common occurrence, it’s time to look at options for prevention. Here are several methods for reducing the likelihood that fledglings meet untimely fates:

Identify Dangerous Windows

If you’ve already experienced a collision, you know to focus first on the window where it occurred. To get an idea of other problems with windows, take a walk around the outside of your home. Have a bird’s eye view and identify points of hazard by considering how the glass appears to them. Take into consideration the types of windows in your home, as large picture windows, windows at right angles to each other, and windows with feeders nearby are all areas of high concern. Residential glass doors can really open up a space and make it feel inviting, but the birds will think so too, so addressing this invitation is vital.

 Apply Densely Marked Grid

Marking the entire window with a dense pattern to create the appearance of a barrier for the birds can help prevent collisions. Markings must be at least ¼ of an inch in diameter and densely arranged, and 2 x 2 inches is ideal so they don’t try to fly through the spaces left. It is only effective to apply them to the outside though, as any reflections could render them useless if done on the inside. They should also be high contrast: dark markings won’t work well on tinted windows, but will do on clear glass.

Draw the Line with String, Tape or Decals

Hanging strings or paracords running the length of windows can be an effective deterrent, spaced no more than 4 inches apart. The closer the spacing, the better, and again 2 inches is ideal. Lines of tape similarly spaced upon the outside surface of the window will also appear as a barrier. Decals can be used, but they will have to be applied in the grid pattern mentioned above, or in lines, as the popular method of a falcon silhouette or two will not provide effective prevention.

Installing External Barriers

Any time you replace old windows and install new residential glass is a great time to install external barriers, as windows can also be retrofitted. Installing insect screens outside windows is practical prevention. You can also mount netting at least 3 inches from the window, and taut enough that the birds bounce off instead of hitting the window. Affixing to a storm-window frame will allow for easy installation and removal. Adding external sun shades, awnings, or shutters will all help to prevent birds from colliding with your windows.

Follow Bird-Friendly Practices

Spring and Fall are critical periods of migration when birds are en route to northern breeding areas or to southern wintering grounds, and birds are most at risk during these challenging journeys. Interior vertical blinds left half open will let light in while still preventing collisions. Make sure to reduce unnecessary light at night to protect nocturnal migrators. Don’t forget to turn off lights in unused spaces and close the blinds at night whenever possible. 

Dan’s Glass — Residential Glass and Commercial Glass 

Dan’s Glass has provided quality and professional services for auto glass, commercial glass, and residential glass since 1979. Contact us today for a free quote on our glass services.


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