Every year, in North America alone nearly 1 billion birds needlessly lose their lives by flying into windows they cannot see. During migration, the incidences increase as fast-moving birds intent on reaching their destination will see on the glass panes the reflections of the trees behind them. In an attempt to either fly through to reach those reflected trees or fly around them, they can hit the glass full force causing injuries that are often fatal.
Office buildings constructed of plate glass are obvious killers, but the windows in our house or apartment can also be fatal. Birds don’t see glass the way we do – they see the reflections of the trees they are flying away from, or see the open space on the other side if there is a glass hallway or windows on the other side. So, a single decal or even multiple ones with space between are just something to fly around. These collisions are unnecessary if steps are taken to make the glass appear to birds as something they cannot fly through. Fortunately, this is not that difficult or expensive to do! This comprehensive article and video from National Geographic explains why birds hit windows and what we can do to help them avoid it. And FLAP.org is a great resource to find out what you can do to make your home safe for birds.
If you find an injured bird, carefully put the bird in a paper bag and bring it inside where it is warm and safe from predators. If the bird does not become active quickly, call a bird rehabilitator. The Wild Bird Fund has a full explanation of how to handle birds and what to do with them when they are injured.
Be informed, and you will make the right choices at home and in your community to help birds be safe.
Juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel