DIY: Bird Safe Windows

DIY: Bird Safe Windows

On this page, you'll find several examples of how you can make your windows bird-friendly.

Example 1: CollidEscape

The Dahlem Center in Jackson Co, MI is home to an excellent education facility with beautifully maintained trails and informative signage that engages visitors of all ages. The viewing window of the gift shop had a falcon silhouette, a pair of snowflake stickers, and a spider web sticker. They were likely placed on the window to prevent bird strikes, with good intention but ineffective results. The window had more than a dozen prints that were indicative of bird collisions. Unfortunately, birds that fly away after striking the window are not simply survivors; many will die of their injuries later (Klem 1990*). One unlucky female Purple Finch was in the snow below the window, and is now a study specimen in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology collections.

The highly reflective window, pre-CollidEscape.

The Dahlem Center graciously agreed to let me cover installation, materials, and labor. Ultimately there will still be window strikes due to panic flights (there's a resident pair of Cooper's Hawks that also watch the feeders), but the non-panic strikes will be greatly reduced. Additionally, in an ideal world, moving feeders within 3' of the window would cut velocity and reduce mortality.

CollidEscape dots have been installed on the outside of the window in a 3" checkered pattern.

Small 1-inch dots were cut from CollidEscape film and applied to the window. The spots are placed every 3 inches-- this stops the birds from trying to fly between them.

*Daniel Klem, Jr.. “Bird Injuries, Cause of Death, and Recuperation from Collisions with Windows (heridas, Causas De Muerte Y Restablecimiento De Aves Que Chocan Con Ventanas)”. Journal of Field Ornithology 61.1 (1990): 115–119.

Example 2: ABC Bird Tape

ABC Bird Tape on windows at Estero Llano Grande State Park.

This hummingbird feeder is at Estero Llano Grande State Park, in south Texas. The window has been marked with ABC's Bird Tape to prevent strikes. The classic guideline is vertical stripes spaced 4 inches apart, or horizontal stripes placed 2 inches apart, based on testing by the American Bird Conservancy.

Example 3: Acopian Bird Savers

Acopian Bird Savers installed in front of a residential window.

Acopian Bird Savers are made from weather resistant paracord and are sometimes called "zen wind curtains" - they're lightweight, can be temporary or permanent, can be a quick and easy DIY project, and simply follow the 4-inch vertical spacing rule.
NOTE: as with panic flights, may not prevent all strikes, and spacing should be closer if hummingbirds are striking.

Further examples are pending.

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