Sitting here in my den as I write this blog, a bird slams into my sliding glass door. Not only does it scare me, but I am also worried about the bird. He seems stunned at first and then gets up and flys off. This is not the first time something like this has happened, in fact, it happens quite often.
I decided to do some research and found that it is estimated that up to 1 billion birds die every year in the United States alone from colliding with a window? This makes window collisions one of the top three threats to wild bird populations behind only habitat destruction and cats.
Wow! I had no idea the number was this high. This statistic got me thinking, is there anything that I can do to prevent this? The answer is YES!
According to Christine Sheppard, who directs the Bird Collisions Program of the American Bird Conservancy there are simple remedies. The group offers extensive information on preventing collisions on its website.
MAKE YOUR WINDOWS BIRD-SAFE
The humane society recommends the following changes below to help prevent bird crashes:
- Window screen or a light net: Attach this at least 2-3” from the window. When the screen or net is taut, birds will bounce off (imagine a trampoline) without getting caught.
- Tape strips: Attach strips of chart tape on outside of window—either 1/4” vertical white strips (spaced 4” apart) or 1/8” horizontal black strips (spaced an inch apart).
- External shutters: Close them whenever windows aren’t in use.
- External sun shades or awnings: They will eliminate or minimize reflection and transparency.
- Soap or paint patterns: Paint patterns on the outsides of windows with soap or tempera paint (which can be wiped off with a sponge but won’t be washed away by rain). You can find stencils and tempera paint at art and craft supply stores.
- Decals and wind chimes: Place them closely together so that the spaces between them are no more than a 4” wide by 2” high. You can find decals at art and craft supply stores.
- Move feeders and baths: Place bird feeders and baths either within 3 feet (too close for a collision to be fatal) of windows or more than 30 feet away (birds will be more likely to recognize that windows are a part of the house).
- Bug screens year-round: If you have modern dual-pane windows, you can leave screens up all year to provide cushioning if a bird hits the window.
- Whitewash: If your shed or basement has windows, consider whitewashing them.
Braxton’s offers a product called Warning Web by Droll Yankee. Stop in and check out all of our wild bird supplies.