How to keep birds from flying into your windows

UC ornithologist says simple steps can prevent needless deaths of birds

Yahoo! News picked up an Indianapolis Star story examining ways to prevent birds from flying into windows at homes and businesses.

The Star talked to University of Cincinnati ornithologist Ronald Canterbury about simple ways to make windows more visible to birds that might otherwise be fooled by the reflection of a tree branch or bush.

UC Professor Ron Canterbury is studying bird strikes, which are an increasingly frequent issue during the semiannual migrations.

UC College of Arts and Sciences ornithologist Ronald Canterbury studies bird mortality from window strikes in Cincinnati. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

As many as 1 billion birds die each year in the United States after striking windows, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Silent spring is coming,” Canterbury said, referencing the famous Rachel Carson 1962 book that inspired the environmental movement of the 1970s. “The urgency is now.”

Canterbury and his students have been studying the problem of fatal bird strikes in Cincinnati. While the glass of skyscrapers can stretch hundreds of feet in the air, Canterbury said the problem area is closer to the ground — in the first couple floors of a building where glass reflects trees and bushes.

Glass walkways, particularly those around landscaped courtyards, can also be deadly traps for birds that are trying to reach the safety of cover, he said.

But there are many options:

  • Adding glass films featuring a visible pattern of squares or circles to break up the reflections.
  • Tempura or poster paint can provide a temporary solution, particularly during spring and fall migration.
  • Parachute cords placed in a pattern on the exterior of windows can create a visual barrier.
  • Custom etched or frosted glass can provide a permanent solution.

“Basically, anything that disrupts the reflection of trees in the windows will work,” Canterbury said.

Read the Indianapolis Star story on Yahoo! News.

Featured image at top: Yahoo! News shared tips from UC ornithologist Ronald Canterbury on ways to prevent birds from striking your windows. Photo/Francesca Leslie

UC Professor Ron Canterbury is studying bird strikes, which are an increasingly frequent issue during the semiannual migrations.

UC ornithologist Ronald Canterbury is raising awareness about ways to prevent fatal bird strikes in windows. He says there are simple ways to keep birds safe. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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