Wild Bird Nesting Boxes and Bird Strikes
How to Prevent Birds Striking Your Windows
A recent study has demonstrated that the gardens which provide the best habitats for wildlife are also the ones in which the most birds are killed or injured by hitting windows. Our efforts to help wild birds can prove to have unexpected consequences.
Many householders enjoy creating an environment which attracts wildlife to their gardens. A pond, the right plants, a bird bath, bird feeders and wild bird nesting boxes can all help to attract more wildlife but windows represent a threat to the birds. Birds fly into windows either because the glass reflects foliage and the sky or because they can see through the house to the foliage beyond.
The study was conducted in Canada and involved homeowners monitoring he number of birds which hit their windows by inspecting their properties daily. The characteristics of each home were recorded in order to discover which factors could be influencing the number of window strikes. It became clear that the were more likely to experience bird strikes.
Gardens with Wild Bird Nesting Boxes and Feeders
If you enjoy feeding the wild birds in your garden and provide nesting boxes for the birds, what can you do to reduce the chances of your visitors hitting your windows?
- You can make your windows more visible to birds by applying decals. It is possible to invest in decals which appear almost clear to humans but which birds can see due to the reflected light.
- Hang wind chimes in front of your windows if you don’t wish to apply decals or coatings.
- Close your blinds or curtains in the daytime to make windows more visible. Close your shutters if you have them.
- Turn lights off after dark if you don’t need them on. It is not fully understood why, but lights appear to divert migrant birds from their flight paths.
- Avoid creating visual paths to sky and greenery. These occur when you have two rooms with a clear door between them or a single room which runs the full length of the house. You can interrupt the view by fitting curtains to dividing doors and closing the curtains which are hanging in front of at least one of the windows involved.
- Tall trees and vegetation close to the house were also shown to increase the number of bird strikes. This could be because the plants are reflected in the windows or because they obscure the birds’ view of the windows. If you are able to, prune back trees and bushes which are close to the fabric of the house so that they are not reflected in the glass.
- Move your wild bird nesting boxes and feeders closer to the house. If the birds that use them are startled and try to leave quickly they will be less likely to injure themselves if they hit a window that is close to them because they won’t be flying fast enough. Alternatively move the feeders much further away from the house if your garden is large enough so that birds are more likely to understand that the windows are part of the house.