Birds crashing into windows is a BIG problem.
It’s estimated that up to ONE billion birds die each year from window collisions! Not only is this having an impact on local populations, but it’s also incredibly sad to find a dead bird that has been a victim. It just feels so senseless and preventable to me.
Today, we will discuss 14 ways to help STOP birds from colliding with windows.
Before we begin, why exactly do birds crash into windows?
Birds hit windows because they don’t even realize they’re there! Typically, the window reflects vegetation, the sky, or trees, so a bird thinks it’s part of the environment. Or, in some cases, the bird sees through the window and all the way through the house, especially if there is another window on the other side of the room.
- RELATED: Check out the TWO LIVE Bird Cameras In My Backyard! (What species are on there today?)
As you will see, most of the tips below focus on minimizing the reflections on your window, which helps the bird know there is a window present.
#1. Don’t put your bird feeders in the “danger zone.”
Do you have bird feeders in your yard?
If so, you know that every day the birds randomly get scared by something, and they all take off quickly in different directions. Whether it was a hawk, cat, or something else perceived as a threat, the birds are trying to quickly get away to safety.
Unfortunately, these moments of panic lead to birds flying directly into windows!
Luckily, this carnage can be easily prevented by making sure you don’t place your feeders in the “danger zone,” which is between 3 feet (1 m) and 30 feet (9 m) from your home! Here’s why this strategy helps:
If the feeding station is over 30 feet (9 m) away from your house, the birds should have time to realize they are flying towards a window when they get scared.
And if the feeders are within 3 feet (1 m), they won’t have time to build up enough momentum to harm themselves if they accidentally fly into a window.
Making sure your feeding station is out of the “danger zone” can help save many of your backyard birds!
#2. Put decorative decals on the windows.
Placing a bunch of stickers on your windows can help birds know that they can’t fly through it!
Luckily, there are a lot of fancy decals that look nice. Here are just a few options on Amazon to get you started:
- Leaf-shaped window clings (comes in packs of 4, different designs available)
- Hummingbird window stickers (a bit larger than most, but more expensive)
And you can’t just put one sticker on the window in the corner and think you are fine. If you are going to use this strategy, you must cover most of the window. Otherwise, the birds might think they can slip through.
#3. Keep the screens on your windows.
Many people take the screens off their windows during winter since the insects are not around. But, these screens help break up the reflection in the window.
If there are windows that birds can’t stop hitting, try putting the screen back on to see if it helps.
#4. Install window film to help reduce glare.
A variety of films are made to put on windows. For example, some people use them in their bathrooms so no one can see in from the outside. Others use it on windows that face the sun during the day to help keep a room cooler.
Regardless, these window films can help eliminate a reflection on a window and make it look opaque. And the best part is that you can still see through the window from the inside!
Here are a few different options:
- CollidEscape Window Film
- This stuff is specially made to help birds. In addition, it helps your air conditioning bill by not allowing in as much heat.
- WPCTEV Window Film
- This whole window film is incredibly INEXPENSIVE and comes in various sizes. In addition to helping prevent bird deaths, it conserves heat, blocks out much of the sun, and provides privacy.
If you don’t like either of these two window films, keep searching around online. There are dozens of different decorative options and designs that look great and prevent birds from crashing into windows.
#5. Attach a bird feeder to a problem window.
Do you have ONE window that seems to be your main problem? If so, you should consider putting a bird feeder DIRECTLY on the window.
Ok, I know this tip sounds a bit counterintuitive at first. But please hear me out!
I have had a bird feeder hanging off my kitchen window for many years. And I can’t recall ONE time that a bird has run into the window.
First, the bird feeder helps break up reflections the window causes.
Second, since the birds come to the feeder for food, it seems to train them that there is a window there!
Having a window bird feeder is loads of fun. It’s incredible to stay still and watch them from only a few feet away. This tip is HIGHLY recommended. 🙂
#6. Attach tape to the outside of the window.
Once again, with this strategy, we are trying to get rid of the deadly reflection that birds see on windows.
To help them out, attach strips of tape to the outside of a window in a grid pattern. If you buy 1/4″ (6 mm) tape, then space it 4″ apart. 1/8″ (3 mm) tape needs to be spaced an inch apart.
If you want the tape to look nicer, you can buy this CollidEscape Window tape. I like that you can see through it when looking out from the inside. In my opinion, it’s also less noticeable and more pleasing to the eye.
#7. Replace existing windows with “bird-friendly” glass.
If you need new windows, you can actually buy windows that are specially made to PREVENT window collisions.
I am definitely not a window expert, so you will want to talk to a window company to get the details and prices. But from my research, there are ways to create a window to be “visible” to birds but is still transparent to people. Some of the strategies include fritting, silk-screening, ultraviolet coatings, or having a pattern etched or sandblasted into the glass.
In addition, if a window is installed facing slightly downward (~ 20 degrees), the glass won’t reflect the trees or sky!
#8. Try putting this on the outside of your windows.
Acopian BirdSavers, also known as Zen Windows, is a product that you can install on the outside of your window.
Described simply, this product hangs paracord, spaced about 4 inches (10 cm) apart, from above the window downward. The paracord breaks up the reflection of the glass so birds won’t try to fly through.
- You can buy an Acopian Bird Saver HERE. They have options for a variety of different-sized windows.
- Or they provide instructions to make your own!
I think it’s pretty impressive that a company provides detailed instructions on how to make the exact product they are selling. This act alone shows pretty clearly that they have a mission to help as many birds as possible. 🙂
#9. Close curtains and blinds whenever possible.
When you leave the house, or you’re not using a room, close the curtains or blinds! Even when you are in a room, try to keep vertical blinds halfway closed.
Doing this is especially important if there are windows on the other side of the room, which may trick a bird into thinking it can fly through your house.
Super simple, but super effective!
#10. Paint the windows!
If you want to have some fun, or are looking for a unique kids activity, try painting the outside or inside of your problem windows with washable paint.
#11. Install shutters that can close.
There is probably no better solution to stop birds from hitting your windows than installing a shutter that can close OVER the window.
When you close the exterior shutter, you are making the window disappear! And from what I’m told, exterior shutters are not that hard to install.
This strategy is probably best if the window that birds are colliding with is in a room that’s not used often. That way, you can keep the shutter closed the majority of the time. If not, you will have to constantly open and close the shutter whenever you leave or get home.
#12. Hang a wind chime in front of the window.
This tip is easy to implement but potentially very effective. Try hanging a wind chime, or two, in front of the window!
#13. Keep your windows dirty!
Did I just give you permission to never wash your windows?
Yes, I did. 🙂
The cleaner your windows, the more they will have a reflection. On the other hand, if your windows are dirty or streaky, they won’t have as much of a reflection, which ultimately saves birds’ lives.
Honestly, I think it’s just irresponsible to clean your windows. Or at least that’s what I’m going to tell my wife next time she wants me to clean them. 🙂
#14. Try a sunshade.
If you don’t like any of my other ideas, maybe you will enjoy this last one.
On the exterior or interior of your window, you can install a sunshade that quickly goes up and down. Many people use these to keep the sun out of a room during parts of the day.
If you look around, there are remote-controlled ones, which makes them super convenient to lower and raise from inside your house. 🙂
How do you stop birds from colliding with windows?
I know many people use a combination of the above strategies. Let us know your experiences below!