protect birds at home
Do you love to see and hear wild birds around your home? Do you put out feeders for them and give them water to splash in and drink? Wild birds benefit greatly from your kindness.
If you want to keep them safe, make all your windows visible to birds. Provide birds with visual cues or markers that alert them to the presence of glass.
Windows can deceive birds: reflected trees or sky, a tempting potted plant seen through glass or a view straight
through the building or glass balcony railing can trick birds into thinking they can fly through to the other side. Birds that do not die upon impact can become easy prey for predators such as cats, raccoons, gulls or other animals.
FLAP Canada Visual Marker Standards
Separate visual markers by spaces no more than 10 cm (4 inches) apart vertically or 5 cm (2 inches) horizontally...for most bird species.
To keep smaller birds such as hummingbirds, kinglets and others safe, a window or expanse of glass must have no reflective openings larger than 5 x 5 cm (2 X 2 inches).
Make markers stand out in contrast to transparent or reflective exterior surfaces (windows or marble walls) under varying weather conditions.
A visual marker should be no less than .32 cm (1/8 inch).
Apply visual markers to the exterior surface (first surface) of glass to disrupt the illusion of a safe, natural environment reflected in the glass.
MARKER SPACING TIP
To space markers effectively, cut out a 5 cm x 5 cm (2 inch x 2 inch) box from a thick piece of paper and place it over various parts of your treated window. If no markers can be seen, the spacing is too big.
MARKER APPEARANCE AND COST
Though not required for bird/window collision reduction, the appearance and/or cost of a bird deterrent can be a deciding factor for a home owner when choosing a visual marker. The following table defines these two factors.
Home Owner Needs
Choose visual markers that do not interfere with a building’s aesthetics or the view through the glass.
Select visual markers that are cost-effective and withstand exterior application (they are long-lived).
Choose visual markers that are easy to install.
HELP AN INJURED BIRD
FLAP Canada does not recommend that you leave a defenceless bird on the ground to recover from its injuries. It may quickly become prey for scavenging animals such as cats or raccoons. (If it’s a baby bird that has emerged from the nest, the parents will be close by. Place the chick high up in the nearest tree away from possible predators. Watch to make sure that the parents find it.)
Should a bird hit your window, gently place it inside an unwaxed paper bag or cardboard box firmly secured. Put it in a quiet location away from people and pets. Do not give the bird food or water. Look on the internet for a wildlife rehabilitator close to you for further instructions.
report bird/window collisions
Help the scientific community and government agencies better understand the magnitude of the bird/window collision problem to inspire effective new technologies as solutions. Should you find a bird injured or killed by a window strike, please contribute to research by recording the incident on the FLAP Mapper, a citizen-science global mapping database at flap.org/mapper_guide.
Bird-proof your windows
Whether it be feeders, flowers, trees or shrubs, all of these attractants can make your yard busy with birds. As birds visit your yard, you run the risk of them colliding with your untreated windows. You can help reduce, and in some cases eliminate this threat by adopting any of the following attractive, cost-effective techniques:
Retrofit Technology For Your Home or Cottage
The following products fall within FLAP Canada’s Visual Marker Standards.
PATTERNED WINDOW FILM
Feather Friendly® Technologies provides a Do-it-Yourself Residential Kit that uses the same proven technology as that used on commercial building applications. This solution consists of a cubed pattern transferred from a release tape. It provides 98% clear viewing to the outdoors.
Easy to install, Acopian BirdSavers are elegant and aesthetically pleasing. Paracord lines are hung from the top of a window spaced 10 cm (4.25 inches) apart to create a visual reference for birds. These cords move with the wind alerting birds to the presence of glass.
PERFORATED WINDOW FILM
CollidEscapeTM is a densely-perforated window film with some of the best results for reducing collisions. From the outside, CollidEscape looks opaque and dramatically reduces window reflection and transparency. From the inside, CollidEscape looks like a window screen. This preserves your view and the flow of natural light into your home.
Bird Screen uses black fibreglass screening that hangs several inches in front of a window and hooks at the top, making it easy to install. It is soft and flexible enough that no harm is done to birds that fly into it. Bird Screen is weather resistant and doesn’t detract from the window's appearance.CLICK HERE to learn about bird deterrent products that DO NOT work.
CLICK HERE to learn about emerging bird deterrent technologies.
CLICK HERE to learn about 'Do It Yourself" bird deterrent techniques.
CLICK HERE to learn about bird deterrent 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help.
Make a donation to FLAP Canada and support our bird-conservation efforts. Donors receive two issues a year of our newsletter, Touching Down, and periodic bulletins about our rescue and research work on behalf of birds.