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Tips for preventing bird/window collisions

We’ve all seen it happen: Someone is walking confidently along when all of a sudden, WHAM! Walking into a closed glass door has likely happened to you or someone you know. When we hit these unmarked doors, the result is typically slight, temporary pain accompanied by major embarrassment. Now, imagine doing this at a high speed and combine that with having hollow bones. This impact would almost certainly result in a more serious injury or instant death. This is the unfortunate reality for up to 1 billion birds per year in the United States alone.

Birds do not see glass. Glass appears invisible to birds and appears as a clear flight path. Reflections in glass can also occur, making these dangerous barriers seem like a flight path to clear skies or vegetative landscapes. Both scenarios result in birds flying right into them. With their small bodies and fragile bone structure, these collisions result in a potentially deadly impact. The good news is you can take action and help! Almost half of all bird collisions take place in residential settings. Here are some easy ways you can help reduce collisions at home:

  • Keep your windows dirty! That’s right. Mark that task right off your spring-cleaning list. The residue on your windows makes them visible to birds and indicates that this space is not a safe flight path.
  • Put blinds on your windows. Windows with blinds are much less likely to encounter collisions as they make the window look solid from the outside.
  • Move your indoor plants away from windows without blinds. Birds might see them as a potential landing spot and collide with the window as a result.
  • Incorporate window decals. Decals for your window come in all shapes and patterns. You can even get them bird-themed! These help break up the reflection and look less like viable flight space. Be sure to leave no more than two inches between decals to keep collisions to a minimum.

Unable to decipher reflection from reality, birds colliding with windows easily takes second place for the biggest threat on their populations, threatening common and rare species alike. While we cannot take away the glass already in place, we are able to act together in creating a future where glass is visible and no longer a leading risk to birds.

Kelsey K.
Keeper I, Birds

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl