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Tragedy! How to Avoid Window Collisions?

According to a scientific report, thousands of birds collide with windows every year, resulting in injury and death. However, several measures can be taken to prevent these collisions and protect these beautiful creatures. In this blog post, we will discuss why birds hit windows, how to avoid window collisions, and how to help an injured bird.

Why Birds Hit the Window?

There are several reasons why birds collide with windows. One major reason is the reflective surface of glass windows. Birds often mistake the reflection of trees, sky, or other surroundings on windows as actual spaces they can fly into. This confusion arises because birds see in ultraviolet light, which makes glass appear transparent to them. This can be especially problematic in buildings with large windows or those made entirely of glass, as birds may be unable to distinguish between a reflection and an actual opening. Additionally, birds may also hit the windows due to territorial disputes or during mating seasons when they are chasing each other. Moreover, plants and flowers placed near windows can attract birds seeking nectar or resting spots and cause them to inadvertently fly into the window.

How to Avoid Window Collisions?

Now that we understand why birds hit windows, let’s discuss some practical steps you can take to prevent window strikes:

1.Install Window Decals

Placing decals or stickers on your windows is one of the most effective ways to stop birds from window collisions. Birds will perceive these decals as physical barriers and avoid flying towards them. Decals can take various forms, such as silhouettes of birds of prey, shapes mimicking natural patterns, or simple dots or lines. Make sure to choose ones with contrasting colors and patterns to create a visual barrier that birds can easily spot. Ensure that they are strategically placed, covering the entire window. Ideally, space the decals about 4-6 inches apart to maximize the visibility to birds. 

2.Cover Windows with Film

Decorative window films not only provide privacy but also serve as bird deterrents. Applying adhesive film to windows can significantly reduce or eliminate reflections, preventing territorial intrusions and the appearance of flight paths. These films can be applied to the entire window or specific sections. Look for films that effectively break up reflections while still allowing some transparency from the inside. You can choose a one-way perforated film that is clear on the inside and opaque on the outside or one that is tinted and covered with stripes or patterns.

3.Close Curtains or Blinds

Though birds cannot see glass, they can see your window coverings. Closing drapes, curtains, blinds, or shades on windows during the daytime can significantly minimize the reflection on windows and reduce the risk of bird collisions. This is especially helpful in buildings or skyscrapers with large windows that reflect the surrounding environment. However, this method may limit visibility for humans as well, so it’s best to use it during peak bird activity times or in areas where collisions are frequent.

4.Create “Zen Curtains”

A “Zen Curtain”, also known as Acopian BirdSavers, is a simple and cost-effective DIY solution to prevent window collisions. You’ll need some strings or fish lines, a pair of scissors, a measuring tape, small suction cups, and clear plastic beads. First, you need to measure the height and width of the window you want to cover and cut the string to the desired length. Then, thread the plastic beads or other decorations on the string. Attach a suction cup on the top of the string and hang it vertically on the window. Repeat the process with the remaining strings or fishing lines, spacing them out evenly across the window.

5.Move Bird Feeders and Baths

Bird feeders and baths placed near windows can attract birds, increasing the chances of collisions. So if you have bird feeders or birdbaths near windows, consider moving them either farther away or closer to the windows. By placing them farther away, you reduce the chance of birds colliding with the windows at high speeds. Alternatively, moving them closer to the windows (within 3 feet or less) can help redirect birds to areas where collisions are less likely to happen.

How to Help a Bird That Has Struck a Window?

Even with preventive measures, chances are that birds might occasionally collide with windows. If you come across a bird that has struck your window, here are some steps you can take to help it:

Assess the Bird’s Injury: Assessing an injured bird’s condition is important to determine the best course of action. Begin by observing the bird from a safe distance to assess the severity of its injuries. If it appears to be alert and able to fly, it may only need some time to recover from the shock. In such cases, it’s best to keep a safe distance and monitor the bird’s condition.

Provide a Shelter: If the bird appears stunned or unable to fly, it might need a safe space to recover. Create a quiet and sheltered area by placing a cardboard box on its side and covering it with a breathable cloth. Place the injured bird in the box and keep it in a quiet place away from pets or human disturbances. Remember to wear gloves and a mask when you handle it to prevent the spread of infections and diseases.

Contact a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: If the bird is seriously injured, it’s best to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for help as soon as possible. These centers have professionals who can provide proper care and medical attention to injured birds.

Contacting them at the earliest can help save the bird’s life.

Other Ways to Keep Birds Safe

Apart from preventing window collisions, there are other ways you can contribute to bird conservation and safety. First, you can reduce the use of chemicals. Pesticides, bug sprays and fertilizers can be toxic to birds, especially when ingested through contaminated food or water sources. Avoid using pesticides in your garden or opt for bird-friendly alternatives that are safe for both birds and humans. Additionally, plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers in your garden to create a bird-friendly habitat. These plants provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for various bird species. Furthermore, providing water sources such as bird baths or small ponds can attract birds while keeping them hydrated.

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