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Why our windows are dangerous for birds
Many people enjoy watching the changing of the seasons and the natural wildlife from the comfort of their own homes. However for some of our wildlife, our windows can be hazardous as they are unable to distinguish where the window barrier starts. With simple solutions we can help prevent many accidents from happening.
According to the estimates of ornithologists, between 100 million and one billion birds die every year due to accidentally flying into windows. This happens because birds have very poor depth perception, and the glare caused by glass prevents them from recognizing the difference between a reflective window and thin air.
Even windows that are clear and glare-free confuse birds. A major cause of collision is when birds attempt to fly through glass in order to reach an object on the other side. House plants and other indoor greenery are particularly problematic because birds think that those objects are a part of their natural environment.
Although we can’t eliminate collisions completely we can help our feathered friends by taking a few easy measures to help prevent accidents occurring.
To make your windows more unappealing to birds, try applying vinyl silhouettes of owls, hawks, or other large birds. You can also apply decorative stickers that are seasonal such as butterflies, snowflakes, flowers and leaves. These decals are easy to remove and can be found at your local pet shop or online. Please note that these silhouettes are only effective for repelling birds from the one medium-sized window on which they appear. In order to truly be effective, you would have to apply decals to multiple windows or multiple decals to a larger window or door.
Picture Courtesy of Window Alert
By attaching a feeder to one of your windows, the birds in your garden will be much more likely to perceive your window as a barrier. A break in the glare, as well as the sight of an object attached to the glass, will assist a bird’s depth perception while in flight.
In addition to helping the birds, you will have the pleasure of watching them up close when they come to your window to feed.
If, despite your efforts, a bird does fly into your window, you should take responsibility by assessing the bird’s injury and assisting it while it recovers from the impact. Whilst the bird recovers it will be vulnerable to predators like cats, hawks, owls, or large rodents, so it is important to take protective measures for the hour or so that they are stunned.
First, determine whether or not the bird is alive. Visually inspect its legs, wings, and feet to check for any breaks or disfigurement. Be aware that the bird may appear to be uncoordinated and disoriented.