Ocracoke nature, flora & fauna

What you can do to prevent bird collisions with windows

These WindowAlert decals can be placed on windows to help avoid bird collisions.

These WindowAlert decals can be placed on windows to help avoid bird collisions.

By Pat Garber

Any bird lover who has heard the disturbing thud of a songbird hitting a window, and discovered its lifeless body underneath, must surely want to prevent it happening again. Listed below are a number of ways this can be done.
Remember to follow the important 2” to 4” rule in all of the applications. Dots, stripes, ribbons, decals or other deterrents must be no more than 2 inches apart horizontally or 4 inches apart vertically.  Also, remember that all applications must be placed on the OUTSIDE of windows, even window films which are designed to go on inside glass.
1. Replace present glass with glass that is textured or appears opaque from the outside. Orilux works well. Or apply a coating, such as Feather Friendly Retrofit Solution, which is visible to birds but not people.
2. Apply window designs by hand or with a stencil, using a brush or sponge, permanent markers, or tempera paint.
3. Place opaque tape on the glass in attractive patterns, or use specially made ABC Bird Tape which transmits light.
4. Apply interior window films of various colors and styles to the OUTSIDE of the windows. A perforated window film called CollidEscape looks opaque from the outside but resembles window screen from the inside. It works well in daylight but is not effective at night.
5. Attach lightweight netting or screens OUTSIDE the window (placed several inches away from the glass.) Screens which can be put up with suction cups or eye hooks are available at birdscreen.com or birdsavers.com.
6. Apply decals (Window Alert for example) placed close together, on glass windows.
7. Hang ribbons, used CDs, pine cones, or other decorations on the outside of windows, making sure that they are close together.
8. Modify light regimes, which includes keeping interior lights off at night when possible, and situating exterior lights so that they are angled down and away from the sky.
9. Relocate bird feeders and baths to within 1 ½ feet or less from windows, so that birds do not build up enough speed to injure themselves if they hit the glass.
10. Move indoor house plants away from windows so that they cannot be seen from outside.
11. Install exterior window awnings.