If certain windows on your house seem to be magnets for birds flying into them, you may be wondering how to stop this from happening. The problem occurs because of two glass characteristics. First, it's reflective -- like a mirror -- and birds assume what they see in the reflection is a continuation of their natural environment. Second, when the sunlight allows birds to see through the glass, they may get the idea that the inside of the house is a bird-friendly place to be.
It's no small problem. Millions of birds die annually because of collisions with windows, and some 44 percent of those collisions involve residential buildings of one to three stories.
Several solutions can resolve this issue, so consider which options are best for your home.
Closing Drapes or Blinds
This is an easy answer, but not necessarily an appealing one. However, if you keep the drapes or blinds closed as much as possible, birds won't try to fly through the glass.
Keeping Houseplants Out of Sight
Window ledges and tables near windows are nice places to put houseplants, but birds may think the plants are outdoors and try to land on them.
Putting Feeders Close to Windows
It might seem counterintuitive, but placing feeders next to windows is helpful. That's because birds want to land at the feeders and aren't flying as swiftly as usual even if they do hit the window. Suction-cup feeders that attach right to the glass provide great birdwatching opportunities.
Installing Outdoor Screens
Bird screens are available that you can put up on the outside of the windows to cushion the bird's impact and prevent it from being injured or killed. The screens still allow good viewing from the inside.
Hanging Cords or Other Items
Hanging several cords, thick strings or pieces of rope on the exterior of a window keeps birds away from the glass. They view those straight lines as barriers. Window socks, wind chimes and other hanging decorations also work well.
Adding Decals or Stencils
Multiple decorative decals and stencils alert birds that the window glass is not a clear passage. People may primarily think of stencils for holiday decorating, but they're available in an enormous number of designs to suit every decor. Some decals lose their effectiveness over several months and must be replaced because of the frequent exposure to ultraviolet light.
Applying Window Film or Tape
Different types of plastic window film can be applied to ward off birds. Some reduce the reflective quality of windows while still allowing light to shine through. Others have patterns, such as swirls, that still allow some visibility from the inside while letting birds know this is a barrier.
Long-lasting window tape also is available that's specifically designed to deter birds by breaking up the reflection in the glass. Apply it in vertical or horizontal stripes, in a checkerboard pattern or any design that appeals to you.
Replacing Windows With Bird-Safe Glass
You can have windows installed that are made of glass laminated with patterns that birds can easily see but that are practically invisible to the human eye. Another option involves having frosted glass installed. The entire window doesn't need to be frosted; frosted designs such as straight lines or geometric shapes go a long way to preventing bird accidents, and you can still see outside.
Contact window suppliers in your area, like Ace Glass Inc window replacement, and ask about different types of bird-safe glass. Replacement windows can be the best solution of all since they last for decades, and you may be replacing old drafty windows with newer energy-efficient styles that help cut your utility bills.