Birds bring great beauty and happiness to our lives, and many of us enjoy bird watching, especially near our homes. However, as much as we love to see birds visit our yards, collisions with windows and other glass surfaces—like railings—are a leading contributor to decreasing numbers of birds.
Glass is invisible to birds, just as it can be to humans. Reflections of trees, greenery and the sky—especially at or below the height of trees—trick birds, and often result in deadly collisions. And daytime window collisions kill far more birds than lights at night.
Luckily it’s quite easy for us to help stop birds from colliding with glass around our homes. We just need to place markers on the glass to help warn birds of the danger. To be effective, markers must cover the entire surface of glass, be placed on the outside surface of the glass, and the gaps between markers can be no bigger than 5cm x 5cm (2” x 2”). Multiple markers are essential—a silhouette of a single bird on a window will not prevent birds from hitting that window.
If you’re not sure what to use as a marker, some options include items you probably have at home. A bar of soap can be used to mark up your glass (though it’s a short-term solution because you’ll need to re-apply when it fades or washes off). A series of ribbons or string can also be hung in front of your glass. Other cost-effective options can be purchased, like Feather Friendly Residential DIY Tape. And when replacing your windows, be sure to install glass that is bird-safe.
Please visit the website for FLAP Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping birds safe from window collisions, if you’d like more information on what markers are effective, and what options, including DIY options, are available: https://flap.org/stop-birds-from-hitting-windows/.