DO-IT-YOURSELF COLLISION PREVENTION:
TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR HOME AND COTTAGE OWNERS
Whichever technique you choose, apply it to the outside of your window. Make sure your chosen deterrent meets FLAP Canada Visual Marker Standards for spacing.
INSTALL EXTERIOR WINDOW SCREENING OR NETTING
Tightly stretch window screening or dense netting across the outside surface of your windows to cushion the impact should a bird fly into the material. Leave a minimum space of 5 cm (2 in) between the window and the netting or screen. Keeping it taut will also protect birds from getting tangled. In some cases, birds see the deterrent and avoid impact.
HANG RIBBONS OR STRING
Hang ribbons, parachute cords or other material 10 cm (4 in) apart, across the full width of the outside of your windows. The vertical lines create “visual noise” for birds and alert them to the presence of glass. This strategy is also suitable for certain commercial or industrial buildings. Keep in mind that the example shown does not meet FLAP Canada Visual Marker Standards. Increasing the number of streamers and moving the bird feeder closer to the window, a half metre (1.6 feet) or less, will increase the effectiveness of the collision deterrent.
Create “visual noise” for birds by affixing lightweight items from around your home on the outside of your windows (items that won't damage your windows, of course.) Here are a few ideas:
- Used CDs
- Pine cones
- Sun catchers
- Laminated pictures or photographs
- Seasonal decorations
- Costume jewelry or beads
USE YOUR WINDOWS AS A CANVAS
Be creative: draw images using a bar of soap or erasable marker on the outside of your window.
Window decals can be any shape – birds, flowers, geometric patterns or others – as long as they are used on the outside of the glass in a dense pattern that minimizes the areas of exposed glass.
WHITEWASH YOUR WINDOWS
Whitewashing is an inexpensive, temporary alternative that is highly effective at reducing bird collisions with windows. Whitewash is easy to apply at the beginning of each migration season and easy to wash off at the end of each season.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE TECHNIQUES...
RELOCATE YOUR BIRD FEEDERS
Position your bird feeders, birdbaths and other attractants half a meter (1.5 feet) or less from your windows. From this short distance, birds cannot build up enough momentum to injure themselves should they hit your window. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the closer the bird feeder to your window, the better for the birds and your viewing! What’s more, it provides entertainment for your housecats!
Protect your cat and wildlife by keeping your cat indoors. The image on the left beautifully captures 3 important messages: cats indoors, bird-safe markers applied to windows and bird feeders close to windows.
If you can see your houseplants from the outside of your home, then so can the birds. Birds perceive your houseplants as a possible perch or refuge. Moving your houseplants back from your windows lessens this attraction.
CLOSE CURTAINS AND BLINDS
Close curtains and blinds to reduce the dangerous illusion of clear passage through windows, especially those that meet at corners, or where windows are situated in line with one another at the front and back of your home.
Exterior window awnings can also help mute window reflection and help protect birds from the illusion of a clear passage.
GARDEN FOR WILDLIFE
Plant native trees, shrubs and flowering plants in your yard to provide food and nesting areas for birds. Visit the North American Native Plant Society website for tips.
GET INVOLVED AND HELP SAVE BIRDS!
- Email your successful tips or techniques for reducing bird/window collisions to firstname.lastname@example.org..
- Raise awareness of the bird/window collision problem at your workplace. Encourage building managers to consult and implement Toronto's Bird-Friendly Building Guidelines.
- Make a donation to FLAP Canada and support our Bird Rescue. As a donor, you will receive two issues per year of our newsletter, Touching Down, and periodic bulletins about our rescue, recovery and rehabilitation efforts on behalf of birds.
CLICK HERE to learn about techniques that DO NOT work.
CLICK HERE to learn about EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES.
CLICK HERE to learn about TECHNIQUES FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION.
If you have questions or comments or need help with a unique bird/window collision problem, contact us at 416-366-3527(FLAP) or email email@example.com. We will be happy to help.