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Bird/window collisions are more common than many people think, and they are killing birds at an alarming rate. But why is this such a huge problem? And how can you stop birds from hitting windows at your home or work?

If you'd like to make your home bird-friendly, begin by identifying problem windows. Large, plate-glass windows, and windows that reflect vegetation, often have the most strikes. Or, if you know a specific window that's had just one bird collide with it in the past, start with that window: there are probably more birds hitting when you aren't around.
    Next, decide how best to break up the reflection. There are many options for this:

    1. Decals or other visual cues. These can be placed on the windows to make the windows visible to birds.
    • NOTE: one or two decals is not enough! The birds will attempt to fly through or around them. 
    • Keep in mind the 2 x 4 rule: decals placed in rows (i.e. horizontally) should be spaced 2 inches apart. Decals placed in columns (i.e. vertically) should be spaced 4 inches apart.
    • The decals should be at least 1/8 inch in size and should contrast as much as possible with the window. 
    • Source:

    There are several different kinds of decals out there, including ABC BirdTapeWindowDressing, and WindowAlert

    2. Film that is opaque or dotted from the outside, but completely see-through from the inside:

    From the outside, the window is opaque...

    ...and from the inside, the film is hardly noticeable.

    Bird/window collisions have been greatly reduced with the use of CollideEscape, as well as similar films like Feather Friendly.

    3. Screens and cords: screens cushion the birds when they hit, whereas cords actively break up the reflection of the glass, but both are effective at preventing strikes.

    BirdScreen and Acopian BirdSavers are inexpensive and quickly produce results.

    In addition to modifying your windows, there are many other ways to help reduce bird deaths:
    • Move your bird feeders and birdbaths to within 3 feet or less of any nearby windows, so the birds will not be able to get up enough speed to hurt themselves.
    • Install external awnings or sun shades to block the reflection of the sunlight.
    • If you have interior blinds or slatted curtains, leave the slats only half-open.
    • Add screens to the outside of the glass (if installing new windows, consider double-hung windows, which come with exterior screens pre-installed).

    Additional Resources and Information

    For an extensive list of publications (warning: pdfs!) pertaining to the  overall impact (conservation, population, etc) of bird collisions:
    Acopian Center for Ornithology's bird-window collision links

    Resources for Southeast Michigan residents:
    If the embedded video below is not working, click here for a TED talk by Joanna Eckles.

    (Updated 23 Jan 2019)

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