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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Birds & Windows: A Dangerous Combination

Have you ever heard the dull thud of a bird flying into one of your windows?
I have, and I hate it.

Pine siskin, stunned after hitting our glass patio door. I put the chairs over top of him
to provide a little shelter and protection while he recovered on his own.

Most sources say that between 100 million and one billion birds die in North America every year in collisions with windows and other human-built structures. Even those that manage to recover and fly away often die later of their injuries or because they’ve become much easier prey.

You can minimize window strikes by reducing the reflectivity and transparency of the glass with a product such as CollidEscape film. Or with decals that adhere to the glass placed very closely together on the outside of the window or strips of tape on the outside of the window or long strips of material hanging in front of the window, on the outside, no more than 10” apart. Or, just in time for Christmas, fake snow!

Here are a few other simple, cost-effective strategies:
  • cover windows with taut netting 2-3” from the glass so that birds bounce off
  • keep blinds or curtains partly closed whenever possible – especially if two windows face each other, creating an apparent ‘flyway’
  • do not place inside plants close to the window
Preventing as many window strikes as possible is, of course, a responsibility of anyone who feeds wild birds. The links below offer more information:

If you have a sure-fire way of minimizing window strikes, something that's worked for you here on Gabriola, plesae tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

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