Preventing Bird Species from Hitting Windows

Window strikes are one of the leading causes of death for bird species but there are many things you can do to reduce this risk.

Rob Ripma

With spring finally arriving after a long and snowy winter, my mind is on the many birds that have begun their northward migration. Some migrants have already arrived near my home in Indiana, but there are many others that will be arriving over the next two months. Migration is really fun for us birders to watch, but it can be very dangerous for the species that we love to observe. One of the largest problems is the threat of running into windows while the birds are in flight. Yes, window strikes can happen during any season, but it can become a particularly big issue in the spring and fall.

Be sure to take steps to prevent bird species from hitting your windows so that you don't find birds like this Chestnut-sided Warbler dead under your windows.

Be sure to take steps to prevent bird species from hitting your windows so that you don’t find birds like this Chestnut-sided Warbler dead under your windows.

So, how can you help prevent window strikes at your house?

1. Place birdbaths and feeders either within 3 feet or farther than 10 feet from your windows.

If you place your birdbaths and feeders within 3 feet, even if the birds hit your window, they will likely not be flying fast enough to hurt themselves. Bird species are also less likely to hit your windows if your birdbaths and feeders are farther away from the windows because they will have more time to figure out that a window is there.

2. Avoid creating a line of sight through two windows on opposite sides of your house.

If birds can see the outside through two windows on opposite sides of your house, they are much more likely to hit your windows. It creates a tunnel that they will attempt to fly through. Anything you can do to breakup this tunnel will help stop window strikes.

3. Break up reflections on the outside of your windows.

If your windows are reflecting the sky and trees outside, the birds may not know the difference and will fly into your windows. Anything that you can do to break up the reflection will help you prevent those window strikes. There are many different types of stickers that you can purchase to put on the outside of your window that will help to cut the reflection.  Ribbons and yarn taped to windows can help, too.

4. Use landscaping to keep birds from hitting a window.

Plant trees and bushes that will help block the birds view of the window. Shade tress can also help to block reflections on you windows.

5. If all else fails, use netting.

If you’ve tried everything else and you are still having problems with birds striking your windows, consider installing some netting over the windows. It’s best to use small mesh netting so that the birds don’t get stuck in the net when they hit it and will instead bounce off.

Check back this Sunday to learn about Lights Out programs that are working to preventing window strikes on a much larger scale.

  1. Roger Register says

    I use to have problems with birds flying into my large window.No more problems since I cut out a moose pattern out od reflective tape.Any pattern will do.I put the reflective tape in middle of window.

    • Annie says

      I have pretty well stopped this by putting small glass beads at intervals along lengths of fishing line. Even small clear beads do it. I have a larger coloured one at the end of each string. They’re roughly 6″ apart.

      . In my bedroom, I put stick on stars that are iridescent (?) the kind you buy on a sheet from cheap shops. Slightly tacky, but I’m the only one who sees them :) (except the birds)

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