Reduce Window Strikes

Here are some ways to help reduce bird strikes:

1. Observation

Bird strikes often follow a pattern – the same windows on a house or building may be repeatedly struck, while others are never struck. Observation and attention to bird attractions such as water, food and cover, will help identify the small percentage of glass area in your home which causes the most problem.

2. Block ‘through-house’ line of sight to the outdoors

Are any windows in your home oriented such that, from the outside, there is a clear view through the house and to another window looking to the outside? A bird may see this as a flight path. This can be changed simply by putting up a shade on the one window, or closing a door or similar obstruction which breaks the open view.

3. Reduce window reflection

Birds often strike windows because they see a reflection of clouds, sky or trees which gives the mistaken impression that they are flying into open air. Put a screen or a shade cloth over the window which is nearest to bird activity. A shade cloth, available at hardware stores, is a plastic mesh that allows you to see through, yet keeps the windows from having reflections. If you have blinds, turn them so they are slightly closed, this will reduce reflection.

4. Window decals

Many different window decals are on the market for applying to your window for bird strike prevention. WindowAlert is a window decal that may be applied to home and office windows. The decals contain a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds. We have found them to be effective and the feed back we have had from others has been positive.

5. Tack up a temporary cover

Sometimes a more aggressive behavior occurs, typically in the breeding season, where a bird repeatedly ‘attacks’ a window. Seeing its own refection as another bird, it’s trying to drive it away, as songbirds are competitive during breeding times. A cloth, piece of netting or solid material can be placed on the outside of the window for a few days to break the bird of its habit.

6. Place sun ornament, crystal or other objects in your window

Sun ornaments, crystals, strips of cloth and other objects in the window will help birds know they can’t fly through. Avoid hanging plants in front of windows which are in areas of high bird activity – this can further confuse the bird which may fly towards the plant looking for shelter. Double-pane windows have enhanced reflection and are harder for a bird to see through.

7. Locate prey and food attractants away from windows

During spring and summer, bright flowers on the inside windowsill can attract nectar birds like our Tui and Silvereyes. If you have a mouse cage, fish tank, or something similar, you may consider moving it if you have noticed repeated bird strikes against a nearby window.

8. Locate bird feeders adjacent to or further away from windows

Bird feeders should be positioned well away from windows or up close within 2 or 3 feet of a window. By placing the feeder up close, birds come in at a slower speed; they’re less likely to get hurt.   Window mounted bird feeders do not encourage bird window strikes.

This is an excellent article about how to make buildings bird safe

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