Easy and inexpensive solution to stop bird window strikes
It’s difficult to imagine that up to 1 billion birds die each year in the U.S. from colliding with a glass window or wall. The experts at American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have suggestions for designers and architects building and retrofitting large building. And for homeowners they have easy solutions to stop bird strikes: Apply inexpensive adhesive window tape and decals to the outside of the window to prevent a bird collision.
We humans see patterns but to birds a pattern needs to appear as a solid object so open spaces should appear too small for them to fly through. It’s important that they can see no viable way to fly between the pattern of the tape. Kaitlyn Parkins, who heads up the Urban Collison Prevention program at ABC suggests spacing should be no farther apart than 2 inches by 2 inches.
Where to apply bird tape
For a bird-safe home, apply a bird tape or decal on large windows and glass doors that reflect greenery, the sky or where you can see them. Also birds are attracted to glass and windows across from fruit-bearing plants, and bird feeders or bird baths. And if you’ve already had a bird collide with a window, that’s a good place to apply a bird tape.
Apply the bird tape on a clean window in temperature above 50 degrees on the outside of the window. That’s important because if applied on the inside of the window the pattern will be hidden by reflections on the outside of the window during most of the day. You should be able to see the pattern clearly when you’re standing 10 feet away because birds need to detect pattern from far enough away that they can alter course and avoid striking the window.
Window tape is not the only solution, you’ll find more products like bird screens, monofilament preventers, insect screens and other preventive measures and installation advice at ABC’s website https://abcbirds.org/glass-collisions/.
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Gene and Katie Hamilton are bird watchers who attend birding festivals and events and write about the wonders of the birding world. They are members of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.