U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies estimate that about one billion birds die each year after flying in to glass windows. It happens at all sorts of buildings; corporate, private homes, and civic buildings. It can happen in cities or rural settings. The mirror effect of glass can not only be confusing, but deadly to birds. It is always sad and sometimes frightening when birds fly into windows. Most time when this happens, they break their necks. The wider your window, the more likely birds will view your windows as wide open space. Because of the transparent and reflective nature of glass, they try to fly through and crash into them. Other birds, like Cardinals, see their own reflections and try to fight. But how can help to minimize harm? To stop birds flying into your windows, you need something that shows them there is glass there. There are a number of products for a permanent solution on the market, or, these simple home remedies can reduce bird Fatalities caused by hitting your windows.
Draw your Curtains
This is a simple and quick solution that can stop birds from becoming confused by windows. Simply draw your curtains or close your blinds. Instead of seeing a wide open space, the bird will see a barrier. Closing blinds or drapes especially at night, because interior lights will often disorient birds.
Soap ‘em up
This old school solution that some folks might not like the look of, but it works. Wet a bar of soap and rub it against your windows. “Paint” swirling patterns in soap until the window is completely covered. The effect will cause the birds to perceive a barrier. An advantage to soap as opposed to curtains is that the soaped windows allow light in. Soap also washes off easily.
You can create the impression that there are bars screen too small for a bird to fly through by using an opaque or solid color tape. Remember that Birds can fly through very small spaces, so the tapered to be in lines no more than 2-3 inches apart. Ribbon taped down also works.
Predator bird Silhouettes
Small birds are the natural prey of hawks, owls, eagles, and other raptors. Lesser birds will instinctively avoid predator shapes. Cut out a silhouette of a raptor on paper or cardboard. Hang it on string just outside your window, or tape it to the inside.
Leave them Dirty
This may sound gross, but if you can stand it late spring and summer, it might help reduce the huge number of bird window strikes, and save them from an often painful death.
Spray the exterior with a coating
Spraying vegetable oil, hairspray, or fake snow can cut down on bird strikes. Just a light coating stops the suns reflection, and will make the window look “solid” to the birds.
Create a “scare crow” from found objects
Use Mylar strips, old CDs, or even strings of feathers to act a deterrent by hanging them from the top of the windows.
If you would rather purchase deterrents than to do it yourself, here a few useful items.
Screen or plastic Mesh
Experts in Ornithology (study of birds) recommend a tightly stretched, 5/8-inch mesh or screen over the glass surface. The birds perceive it as a solid surface and veer away.
Limit light Use
Turn off or limit use of interior lights especially in tall buildings such as multi unit apartments and skyscrapers.
UV-reflecting decals, spaced close together can help deter the birds. Use the decal to make a tight fitting pattern leaving spaced the birds will perceive as too small for them.
But many people think that it is more distracting than looking through a screen would be.
Acopian Bird Savers
Simple strip “curtains” made from cording. Each strip is about 4 inches apart and is easy to hang.
Simple screens made from resin or plastic. The screen works because it is raised about 2 inches off the window, and the bird’s just “bounce” off the soft surface unharmed.
Find a plastic or rubber casting of a snake, owl, hawk, or other predator and mount it as near the window as possible. The birds will avoid the area for fear of being eaten.
The devices are designed to run off birds by putting out a high pitched sound that is bothersome to birds, but doesn’t bother us. Some are electric, some battery powered, and some are equipped with solar panels.
There are other things you can do to help keep birds safe from slamming into windows.
Keep the areas around your windows free of attractants. Move bird feeders away from windows
Don’t set up bird baths or water sources under windows.
Keep shrubbery and other plants that attract birds trimmed below window height, or move them to another section of yard.