Every year, in North America alone, up to 1 billion birds are killed by flying into glass windows – both year-round resident birds, as well as those on migration, are affected. This is a huge number of birds that are being unnecessarily killed, as there are many ways to avoid these collisions. Our homes, office buildings, schools – any construction – are obstacles built into the habitat our birds and other wildlife are living in and moving through. Critically, birds dont see glass the way we do. And, most of the collisions by birds occur either because the birds see the reflection in the glass of the trees behind them and fly towards them at full speed, or they can see through the glass to the other side and want to reach the trees there. Some ways to make our homes and cities safer for birds are DIY, others require more planning. But overall it’s important to understand how birds see glass and how we can cue them to know there is something in their pathway so they can avoid it.
If birds are hitting one or a couple of windows at your home or office, this can be remedied by disrupting what the bird sees on the entire pane. Placing a decal on the glass may just direct the bird to go around the sticker so they avoid the solid area they know they can’t fly through. Birds look for areas they can squeeze through when flying, so leaving areas of open space on the window larger than your fist may make the open area still appear passable.
There are a number of ways to make glass visible to birds and still retain your view. The folks at FLAP.org have solutions and lots of info on this topic. For more information on how to make your home or office bird-safe, check out American Bird Conservancy’s info and solutions pages – including already created solutions you can buy and effective DIY projects.
Everything we do to make glass visible to our birds will help address one of many issues that are pushing many birds into decline. How about an early New Year’s resolution to make your windows bird-safe before the end of the year? Making glass bird-safe is one of the easier things to do and it makes a very big difference!