Photo: How to prevent bird window strikes

Bird collisions with man-made structures is a leading cause of bird death in North America. (Credit: Andria Lavine va Flickr)

Windows are deadly for birds.

More birds die each year from crashing into homes and buildings than are killed by wind turbines and vehicles combined. In Canada it's the third leading cause of wild bird death, after cats (domestic and feral) and power lines, collisions and electrocutions. Window strikes kill about 100 million birds in North America each year.

Birds can't see glass. And they fly so fast, any collision is usually fatal.

Here are some simple, affordable changes you can make at home or work to prevent these deaths:

  1. Close blinds and curtains
  2. Move indoor plants away from windows
  3. Hang old CDs, aluminum pie plates or chimes to break up the expanse of exposed glass
  4. Plant a shade tree to cut down on reflection
  5. Dim or turn off lights, especially during spring and fall migration
  6. Install special screens to cushion impact

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Check out the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) homeowner brochure (PDF) to learn what to do if a bird strikes your window and how to report it.

Do you feed birds in winter?

Your bird feeder can be an important source of calories for wild birds. Just don't place it right in front of windows! Be sure any feeders and bird baths are at least half a metre away from glass surfaces.

What steps have you taken to prevent bird window collisions at home or work?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

November 11, 2016

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Nov 14, 2016
1:34 PM

I have put the roll of tape squares on my cottage windows, and haven’t had a bird hurt since. Easy to do, and not that expensive. They have large decals also that I plan to get.

Nov 13, 2016
9:07 PM

Stained glass in a window.

Nov 13, 2016
12:36 PM

I put post it notes up on the outside of our picture window during fall and spring migration. This has cut down on bird collision by 90%.

Nov 13, 2016
11:23 AM

Wondering if those window decals of a flying bird silhouette work? Any thoughts?

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