Tips to Prevent Bird Strikes on Windows at Home

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

We know sometimes birds hit windows, and it's much worse during migration. Here are a few simple things you can do to stop window strikes.

warblers in Ohio at magee marsh©Rob Ripma
You do not want to find a chestnut-sided warbler dead or injured due to a window strike!

Unfortunately, sometimes birds run into our windows — that’s why “bird strike window” is a common Internet search. And it can be much worse during spring and fall migration. It’s never fun to see our feathered friends suffering after these window strikes but, luckily, there are some things that you can do to help prevent bird strikes on windows.

Psst—check out 5 ways to create a bird-safe backyard.

Birds fly into a window for a couple different reasons. Sometimes they can see straight through your house out another window and think that they can fly right through. Other times, the reflection off the window plays a similar trick on them. According to the American Bird Conservancy an average of two birds are killed at each U.S. home every year by window strikes. Here are a few ways that you can help reduce this problem at your house — and you’ll never have to worry about Googling “bird strike window” again.

Carolina chickadeeCourtesy Christine McCluskey
Keep chickadees and other songbirds safe by following these suggestions.
  1. Use these products that the American Bird Conservancy recommends on your windows to break up the reflection and make the windows stand out to birds.
  2. Hang reflective items on the outside of the window. This will get the birds attention and direct them away from the window.
  3. Draw a pattern on the outside of your windows using a white paint marker.
  4. Place bird feeders within 3 feet or outside of 10 feet of all windows.
  5. If you’ve tried these things and you’re still getting window strikes, put screens on all of your windows.

Here’s expert advice on how to help a bird that flew into a window.

How To Keep Hummingbirds From Hitting Windows

A male ruby-throated hummingbird sits at a sugar-water feeder waiting to take a sip.Courtesy Jennifer Miner
A male ruby-throated hummingbird sits at a sugar-water feeder waiting to take a sip.

It’s important to stop hummingbirds from hitting windows. Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “Along with roaming cats, window strikes are among the leading causes of bird deaths.” And, unfortunately, hummingbirds aren’t immune.

They say because glass reflects the outside scenery, hummingbirds think they can fly through. Like with other birds, to prevent strikes, you must break up the reflection on the outside of the glass.

Growing awareness of window strikes has led to several fantastic products coming onto the market. Kenn and Kimberly say, “We have tried BirdTape from the American Bird Conservancy and found it to be highly effective. For more info, visit abcbirdtape.org.”

They note that decals pasted on the inside of windows (hawk silhouettes are a common choice) are not enough to protect birds, and you should take other measures to protect birds.

Reader Tips to Prevent Window Strikes

Birds & Blooms readers share the clever ways they keep birds safe from reflective glass.

“My house is on a river with a large picture window. We had regular window strikes until I learned about bird netting and stapled a sheet of it onto the molding. It isn’t the prettiest, but we haven’t had a bird hit the window in two years.” – Kevin Maurice, Des Moines, Iowa

Bird’s Eye View brand window deflectors are affordable and work well.” – Alison Jaggers, Akron, Ohio

Glass Suncatchers In WindowCatherine McQueen/Getty Images
Colorful glass suncatchers

“I hang brightly colored suncatchers in my windows. The light keeps the birds away.” – Carol Sanderson, Newington, Connecticut

“I installed strings over my large windows, along with wind chimes and window stickers.” Janet Lussier, Coventry, Vermont

“I place seasonal decorative decals on the outside of my sunroom windows, using large snowflakes in winter, hummingbirds in spring and summer, and leaves in autumn.” Pam Tomka, Washington, Illinois

“Draw on your windows with a bar of soap. I simply draw X’s, but you can get more creative. The best part is that the soap washes off easily.” Robin Roeben Conway, South Carolina

Next: Have you noticed a bird pecking at your car mirror? Here’s why — and how to stop it.

Popular Videos

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.