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How to Stop Birds From Flying Into Your Window

When we think of dangers to birds, there are a lot of things that pop into mind: cats, windmills, large glass buildings, brown tree snakes—not to mention all those dangers to hummingbirds.

Now, a recent study suggests residential windows pose an even greater risk to birds. About 22 million birds in Canada are killed each year from windows on homes, according to the study. The numbers are extrapolated from a small sample portion though, so it’s not a clear-cut amount and could potentially be significantly lower.

The author of the study said he wanted to gather numbers on how residential birds are affected by windows. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to gather data from around the country at one time, so they asked about 1,500 participants.

I have some questions about the study in general, but one of the conclusions the author came to is that bird feeders may dangerous to birds because they lure them closer to windows. I agree that poorly placed feeders can be a danger, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. But in order to decrease or eliminate the number of birds that hit your windows, here are some things to keep in mind.

Placement is key

Where you put your bird feeders can significantly reduce the number of bird strikes. You should put them either one of two places: within three feet of your windows or far away from your house. If it’s close to your window, a bird will not die if it accidentally flies into the window because it will not be going very fast. If it’s farther, it will have no need to fly toward the house.

Put decals on your windows

An easy way to stop a bird from crashing into your window is to make it visible. Companies make decals of hawks that birds will see and avoid. If you’d like to keep your windows clear and open, simply get a decal that is only visible to birds. You won’t notice the art, but birds will.

Put up netting

You might not think this is feasible, but putting up mesh netting around your windows is a great solution. I know someone who put up a massive net around his windows and he’s never had any collisions again. The netting wasn’t an eyesore either. You can also just put it around the area of your house where your bird feeders are.

Add screens to your windows

Screens that will keep bugs out of your house when the windows are open will reduce bird collisions with windows. These make the windows much more visible to the birds and will usually not harm a bird if it accidentally flies into the screen. Most people put them up during the summer, but you should simply leave them up the whole year.

Close the drapes


Finally, drawing the drapes, pulling down the blinds or closing the shades will reduce the reflectivity of the windows, especially if the drapes are light-colored. The downside is that they block your view, but if you draw them for the two prime feeding hours in the day, you’ll be doing a huge service to birds.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

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  1. […] If you find birds are constantly crashing into your windows, check out our post about preventing that from happening. […]

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