How You Can Prevent Birds From Flying Into Your Windows

If you have a lot of windows in your house, you may have a legitimate worry about birds flying into the glass and sustaining a serious injury or even death. This is a growing concern among those with an affinity for our finely feathered friends for quite some time now. Which begs the question: why do birds sometimes mistake the glass for — well, nothing? You can prevent this from happening with a few simple tricks — it's important to make birds aware of the window by making it more visible in the first place. 

What causes birds to mistake the glass for no barrier at all? Well, it's believed that the birds take the window to be an extension of the sky, since so often the sky and outdoor scenes are reflected in it. The more spotless your windows are, the more difficult it is for them to perceive it as a solid barrier. Therefore, the more indicators you add to the windows the better, such as decals on the glass or barriers in front of the windows.

How to prevent birds from flying into your windows

Putting plants or shrubs in front of the windows helps a lot, as do awnings or any other types of window treatments that will deter the birds or let them know the windows are there. Exterior shutters or sun shades reduce the transparent appearance and reflection. Bug screens or mosquito netting can be kept on windows all year round, which will at minimum reduce fatalities from collisions. 

Alternatively, you could add some decals to decorate the edges of your windows and help them show up on birds' radar. Hanging wind chimes in front of windows gives them the visual cue of depth needed for birds to detect them. Move bird feeders and baths to about three feet from the windows. This is a good distance so that the birds will not fly into the window as they use the facilities. Additionally, you can try making changes inside the home, like keeping curtains, shades, or blinds partially closed during the day and turning on lights at night.

What to do if a bird flies into a window

Unfortunately, the more clean your windows are, the more likely birds are to see reflections in them that appear real and natural. If a bird does fly into your window, the first thing to do is cautiously locate the fallen bird, taking extra care not to startle it further. It may be stunned or unconscious, so watch it for a moment to see if there are signs of life. If the bird is unconscious, put on a pair of gloves and gently lift it to inspect it for injuries. If it just seems stunned, it may still need some time to recover safely.

The main thing is to keep it safe from harm without spooking it until it can fly again. If it's injured and can't fly after two to three hours, wrap it loosely but securely in clean rags or newspaper and place it in a shoe box until you can reach a wildlife rescue team. Keep in mind it is illegal to keep a wild bird captive, so if it doesn't recover on its own, you'll have to take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center if you want to save it. Many birds die of internal injuries, so of course the best solution is a preventative one.