Even if they are not seen, birds frequently collide with windows. Some manage to fly away and others are killed instantly. These injuries can be prevented with minimal effort and expense; keeping the bird population healthy, and the bird lovers happy.
Bird versus windows incidents tend to occur most often during the spring and fall migrations, when the most birds are on the move before habitats.
Not every window in the house is necessarily a concern for birds. The most reflective windows are the most dangerous especially if they are near a bird feeder or other area that birds often frequent. Even small windows can cause damage as birds are used to flying through small spaces between branches.
Research has shown that the majority of bird species will avoid glass with white vertical stripes about ¼ inch wide, spaced 4 inches apart. Alternatively thinner black stripes work equally well if spaced 1 inch apart. Other patterns that are random and irregular also work if the general spacing guidelines are followed.
Ways to Prevent Bird Collisions
- Create patterns with tape. Duct and masking tape are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes and is easy to apply and remove. Chart tape is another good candidate but it may require a scraper for removal
- Tempura paint is readily available and inexpensive to purchase in most craft and hobby stores. The paint can be applied in many ways from brushing to stencils to sponges and the only limit to the designs is the creativity of the painter. Tempura will withstand rain and is completely non toxic. To remove wipe with a damp sponge or rag and then wash the window normally.
- For particularity high risk windows, netting or mesh can be hung outside the glass. The chosen material must be several inches away from the surface of the glass so that birds flying into the net do not continue on and also hit the window. Depending on the material visibility can be maintained with this method.
- Window films that are designed to apply on the interior of glass come in a wide range of styles and patterns and can be used on the exterior of windows to avoid crashes. There are also specialty films that are designed specifically for this purpose. These films are see through from the inside so no visibility is lost from the house, while showing a solid or patterned surface from the outside.
- Hanging sun-catchers, mobiles and other long ornaments across high risk windows can also deter bird collisions.
- Premade window decals are also available in a variety of patterns, some made for the purpose of deterring birds. To truly be affective the decals must be fairly close together and visibility could be restricted.
- For a fun family project homemade decal kits are available that allow children (or adults) to paint on sheets of plastic. The artwork becomes translucent as it dries and will cling to windows as well as commercially purchased decals.
Using window deterrents will help to prevent unnecessary injuries and death in birds, allowing for more enjoyable bird watching.