It’s summer and that means the birds are out and about. They’re hitting windows left and right and injuring or killing themselves. Most homeowners don’t know how to prevent this from happening. This is an important step in home ownership. Here are a few ideas to protect the birds in your area.
Birds Hitting Windows
Many window types are reflective. Because of this, birds see grass or foliage reflected in the windows and view it as a great place to be. By the time they may realize they need to change course, they fly into it. The speed birds fly is the main reason hitting the window kills them. It’s also dangerous for birds that migrate at night. The unnatural light of a living room lamp in the window can seem like the light from the moon and stars and a bird could fly toward it thinking they’re following the right path.
The important thing is to know how to keep it from happening. There’s a way you can protect the birds and it’s important to understand how to go about this.
Make Them Visible
Do something to make the window visible to the bird so the reflections don’t seem so real. Add a screen or tape strips to the window. Something that can show the bird it’s not a real path for them to take. Try adding soap or paint to the windows. Colors may help them realize what they’re flying toward in time to divert their path. Use decals or window art. These objects will show the bird something else is there and it may not be safe.
Do you keep bird feeders and bird baths in your yard? Keep them out away from the house. Having them too close can create the saddening reality of birds leaving the feeder or bath only to fly into the window nearby and be killed. All feeders and baths should be within three (3) feet of the house so they can see it clearly. This allows them a chance to know the house is there and not fly into a window. If you can’t put the feeder or bath that close, it shouldn’t be closer than thirty (30) feet from the house.
This excess distance provides the chance for birds to use the feeder or bath and find their way away from it without flying into a window on their path to the nest.
Change Objects Inside
Changing your outside decorations isn’t the only thing you can do to protect birds from flying into your windows. It’s also an option to change around the inside as well. Adding vertical blinds to the window and making sure they’re always halfway closed or more is a great start to protecting the birds.
Another option is to turn off lights or close curtains at night. This will ensure they can’t mistake your living room lamp for the moon and fly toward it. It’s also an option to keep the curtains closed during the day. If you’re not using that window for any reason, close the curtain to protect the birds from seeing the reflection of the safe space around your window.
What to Do With the Bird
If a bird hits your window and isn’t moving, there’s still a chance it’s alive. Place it in a darkened box for an hour and see if it starts to move around. It could be the bird was stunned by the impact and will be fine. Once the bird calms down inside the box, you should be safe to release it back into the wild. It’s important to know how to handle situations like these because birds don’t always die from hitting the window.
Sometimes, the bird is killed by other animals while it’s lying there, stunned. Recovery for a bird that’s been stunned is not a fast process. Helping to protect the bird while it recovers can ensure its survival and provide a chance to have one less bird die from hitting a window.
Black stickers are the worst option you can use. Many people say they are the most visible to birds, but this isn’t true. If you’re going to use stickers in your windows to help the birds, they should be colorful to contrast the already darkened inside. Windows are usually darker and black stickers will only blend into that darkness.
A silhouette of a bird of prey will keep other birds away so they don’t get hurt is wrong. Nothing has proven that birds will avoid flying near or into your windows because you have a silhouette of a bird of prey outside.
Use of stickers should never be limited. Some feel they can place one sticker per window and that will keep the birds away. This is not true. Birds have habits of flying through tight spaces and a single sticker will only make them think that’s the case here. They’ll still attempt to fly through the window as they avoid the single sticker you placed. A good rule of thumb for stickers is to use an adult’s hand. If the gap between stickers is larger than an adult’s hand, the bird will still attempt to fly through it.
Stickers should always go on the outside of the window. People will tell you they go on the inside, but this is false. They are better to break up the reflections the birds are looking at if they’re on the outside of the window.
Protecting the birds is an important part of home ownership. There are many options to keeping them safe from hitting your windows. With these five tips and the list of misconceptions about preventing them from flying into the windows, you can save a bird’s life. It’s important to keep these tips in mind and try some of your own, or research other options, to protect the birds in your area.