PHOTO: Tim Lenz/Flickr
Lynsey Grosfield
April 20, 2016

A 2014 article in Science News provided some disturbing statistics on the relationship our feathered friends have with windows. While our invasive feline companions lead the way in wild-bird mortality, killing up to 3.7 billion wild birds annually, windows are not far behind.

In the U.S., it is estimated that between 365 million and 988 million birds a year—mostly migratory songbirds—meet their end by crashing into a pane of glass. Over half of those deaths occur on the windows of buildings less than 11 stories high, so it’s not skyscrapers doing the bulk of the damage. Single-family homes shoulder a sizable portion of the blame. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions that can help birds establish a better sense of depth perception in the face of an otherwise invisible opponent.

Incorporate Patterns

A frosted window pattern, mesh, lattices, netting, window films, decals and even strips of tape can give birds a little more data about what lies ahead in the negative space. Although this can complicated the view from the inside, it may be worth installing in periods of peak migratory bird traffic.

Install False Predators

Deterrents can also help. They come in the form of an artificial bird of prey, whether that be a window decal of a falcon or a plastic owl. These don’t fool every bird, though, so they may not totally prevent collisions.

Put In Window Feeders For Wild Birds

wild bird on window bird feeder
boxer_bob/Flickr

For the amateur ornithologist—or anyone who appreciates seeing wildlife up-close—the most rewarding solution is a window-mounted bird feeder. For indoor cats, a window-mounted feeder is basically television. Instead of compromising the view of nature, this will bring nature right up close for observation and give birds a safe place to slow down and land while having a bite to eat.



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