One of the main causes of migratory songbird mortality is window strikes.
The following steps can help reduce the number of birds killed by hitting windows, and a lot of lives could be saved if everyone implemented these strategies!
These suggestions come from FLAP Canada (Fatal Light Awareness Program). Visit their website at flap.org for excellent information on prevention of window strikes for homeowners and major metropolitan cities alike!
Window strikes can be reduced or prevented with the following steps:
Relocate your bird feeders
Position your bird feeders, birdbaths and other attractants half a meter (1.5 feet) or less from your windows.
From this short distance, birds cannot build up enough momentum to injure themselves should they hit your window. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the closer the bird feeder to your window, the better for the birds and your viewing!
Placing feeders 30 or more feet away from windows may also help.
If you can see your houseplants from the outside of your home, then so can the birds. Birds perceive your houseplants as a possible perch or refuge. Moving your houseplants back from your windows lessens this attraction.
Close curtains and blinds
Close curtains and blinds to reduce the dangerous illusion of clear passage through windows, especially those that meet at corners, or where windows are situated in line with one another at the front and back of your home. Exterior window awnings can also help mute window reflection and help protect birds from the illusion of a clear passage.
Give the birds visual alerts
The key is to provide birds with the visual cues they need to alert them to the presence of glass. Visual markers on windows are the most effective collision reduction strategy when properly applied.
Unfortunately, one or two stickers on a window aren’t effective. To properly alert birds, windows must be covered with a uniform pattern four inches apart for vertical alerts, and five inches apart for horizontal alerts.
WindowAlert decals contain a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds. In addition to the decals, you can also get UV liquid that you can paint on the outside of your windows. An application lasts up to three months, and is very effective for preventing bird strikes.
Always hang alerts on the exterior of the windows for best results.
This photo shows a product called Acopian Bird Savers you can either purchase or make yourself. Spaced 4″ apart, a physical barrier like this can be a good visual alert to birds and, like a screen on the outside of the window, it also provides a visual barrier and softens the blow if a bird does fly into it. Learn more at birdsavers.com.
Please consider these steps to make your yard safer for songbirds! So many of the injuries WildCare’s songbird patients suffer are entirely preventable. With your help, more migratory songbirds will survive their arduous migration to sing another day.
Cover photo by Roland Dumas