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Bird-Safe Windows – Tips On How to Stop Birds From Flying Into Glass

Bird-Safe Windows – 10 Tips On How to Stop Birds From Flying Into Glass

Are you looking for effective window bird control tips to prevent life-threatening impacts of birds against glass panes? Then you've come to the right place! Large glass fronts are beautiful and let a lot of light into your home. For birds, however, they represent a real danger. Among other things, because they can not perceive them as an obstacle.

In Germany alone, around 100 million birds die each year as a result of collisions with window panes.₁ Fortunately, a few small changes at home can prevent birds from flying against your glass fronts. And I'm not talking about the black bird stickers you probably know from bus stops or swimming pools 😉 .

In this article, I will now introduce you to the most important bird protection solutions and tips for making glass panes bird-proof and preventing bird strikes. You'll also learn why birds so often collide with glass fronts in the first place and what to do if an animal is injured in the process. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Reasons
  2. Immediate help
  3. Tips
  4. Closing words

Reasons: Why do birds actually fly against window panes so often?

Reasons: Why do birds so often fly into window panes?
A dead bird after hitting a window pane | ©

Whether plastic waste, cars, fences, wind turbines or robotic mowers -. man-made objects not found in nature, can quickly become a deadly hazard to wildlife. This is also one of the Why Is Animal Welfare So Important? Reasons For The Protection Of All Animals!

Glass death is among the biggest man-made causes of death for birds. To help animals and understand the reasons for our feathered friends' frequent collisions with window panes, we should be Get a "bird's eye view" for a moment.

From the point of view of birds are glass panes invisible obstacles. The animals believe that they fly through the openings in the house. Also the blue sky, the clouds and the garden plants reflected in the window, attract them. Finally, the larger, cleaner and freer the disc, the greater the risk of impact.

It can even lead to Territorial behavior when the animals suspect a competitor in the reflective pane. In addition, birds are particularly irritated at dusk by the lights switched on in buildings and therefore fly against the pane.

We hold: The Review, the Mirror and the Lighting of windows are the main reason for bird strike on glass panes.

Immediate help: What to do if a bird has flown into the window?

A young bird after impact on a pane of glass
A young bird after hitting a pane of glass | © Shutterstock, Stock image ID: 152409815

Especially to those who have their own Garden deliberately designed bird friendly have to do something good for the animals and enjoy the birdsong, is likely after the first impact of a bird the Stand shock in the face.

After all, first you helpfully offer the animals food, shelter and even a sand bath - but then you put them in the great danger of a reflective glass pane out. But no one is perfect and collisions cannot be completely avoided. What's more important now is that you help the collided bird.

How to give first aid to injured birds

You heard or saw a crash at the window and found an injured bird in front of your house? Then it's time for some first aid measures. Here I show you now what to do in case of emergency:

  1. Rate condition: Motionless animals are often unconscious and not dead. So first check whether you can feel pulse, breathing or heartbeat. In case of doubt, the pupil reflex test with the flashlight can also help.
  2. First Aid: If the bird is still alive but does not fly away on its own, it needs some rest. Therefore, you should first carefully place it in an old shoebox with a soft cloth and a small bowl of water at the bottom. Place the box in a quiet, shady spot. A lid (with holes!) is advisable so that he is not exposed to the risk of cats or other predators.
  3. Re-evaluate condition: How is the animal doing half an hour later? Open the lid of the box and observe its behavior. Ideally, it has survived the shock well and is now flying again. If it hasn't, you should check to see if you can detect any noticeable external injuries. If he is unable to fly, continue with the next step
  4. Contact veterinarian or veterinary surgeon: Is the animal still sitting in the open shoebox a few hours after hitting the window? Then it is best to call the local bird protection association or directly to a veterinary practice in your area. Together you can then find an individual solution to help the animal.

Tip: Whether it's a windshield impact, a collision with a car, or an attack by predators, here's what you should basically do if you have a injured bird found I have summarized them for you in a separate article.

10 tips: How to prevent birds from flying against the window?

Bird protection at the window with curtains and transom windows
Curtains and window bars signal an obstacle to birds | © Anaïs Murith/Jonathan Borba

First aid for impacted birds is great - but of course such situations must be avoided in the future. Fortunately, each of us has the chance to make life a little easier for the birds and the Minimize the probability of collision with windows.

According to the Landesbund für Vogelschutz in Bayern (LBV), the following count pasted, black silhouettes of birds, however, not among the appropriate measures. The statement is justified by the fact that the animals do not recognize natural enemies in them, but at most a tiny obstacle that is simply flown around and not even recognized in the twilight.₂.

The Vienna Environmental Ombudsman's Office (WUA) but has from scientific studies general rules of thumb and advice derived₃ that can help further:

  • Spacing: The marking elements on window panes should be no more than a hand's width apart. This is important so that birds do not get the idea to fly past them.
  • Orange color: In fact, orange shades are highly recommended for bird protection at the window, as they are particularly well perceived by birds.
  • Attachment from the outside: To break the reflection, markers and obstacles should be placed on the outer side of the window if possible.
  • Line Pattern: Horizontal lines must be at least 3 millimeters thick to be recognized as an obstacle and may have a maximum gap of 3 centimeters between them. Vertical lines must be 5 millimeters thick and have a maximum edge distance of 10 centimeters.

Us really countless options are available to make their own windows safe for birds. What you can do in practice to prevent blackbirds, great spotted woodpeckers, blue tits, robins and other native garden birds from banging on your glass panes, I would like to show you now.

1. put curtains and drapes on the window

Unlike the "black bird stickers" curtains and drapes are large-scale and visible, optical obstacles.

Even though they don't break the reflection, since they are inside the window pane, they can keep birds from flying against a window. At the same time they allow you to still have enough Natural daylight penetrates into the room.

2. place feeding and drinking places far away from windows.

Many a garden or balcony owner positions the bird food in a container directly in front of or even glued to the window pane. This is of course a great danger for the animals and the opposite of what you should do if you want to prevent bird strikes.

By using the Food supply, the drinking place or even the sand bath. If you place the bird as far away as possible from your glass panes, you reduce the risk immensely. Once you've implemented this tip, you're guaranteed to see far fewer bird collisions.

3. decorate windows with colorful motifs

In order to Reduce transparency of glass panes and protect the birds, you can also apply colorful motifs and creative patterns on the window. That works for example with washable paint.

Painting and pasting the pictures is also a especially nice activity for children. They give your home an individual touch and at the same time serve as a bird screen on the window. Not everyone likes it, but it's worth a try.

Tip: Dirty windows are perceived by birds rather as an obstacle. The dust and dirt adhering to them also inhibits the view and not least the reflection. Cleaning the windows less often can therefore also be an effective window protection for birds 😉 .

4. place plants outside in front of the windows

Even though plants basically attract the birds, they serve as a visual barrier in front of a pane of glass. Finally, it ensures that the animals slow down their speed and the intensity of a possible impact is much lower.

In addition, bushes, trees and shrubs offer many garden birds Refugewhen they flee frantically from birds of prey or other predators.

Good to know: From the inside hanging on the window or standing on the windowsill, you'd better not place plants in pots. There is a high probability that birds will want to land on it and will be surprised by the window.

5. install fly screen on the window

Fly screens also protect birds from the glass | © Shutterstock, Stock image ID: 1900058086

Fly screens are probably among the most effective, physical barriersthat help birds recognize windows as obstacles. They are easy to install and ultimately provide effective protection not only against flies, mosquitoes and other insects, but also against bird strikes.

To protect birds from windows also help classic String curtainsas they are often known, especially from glazed patio doors. Just like the fly screens, they are also a visual obstacle that the birds in your garden quickly notice.

6. frosting window panes with stickers

You can also use custom matte stickers, tailored to the particular window, to attract birds to signal that it is a solid surfacewhich cannot be flown through.

The Matte effects of milky, semi-transparent adhesive strips refract light and significantly prevent bird strikes on the window, according to experience. You don't want to cover the entire surface? Then please take the above rules of thumb for recommended minimum distances into account for the exact design.

Tip: How you can help birds and also other Help animals in everyday life otherwise I'll explain how you can do that in a separate post. If you like, feel free to click on it!

7. reduce lighting indoors

If you want to bird proof your windows, you should consider the lighting inside your house or apartment -. especially in the early morning and late evening hours, as well as at night. - reduce.

The lower reflection of the windows provides less irritation and ultimately tempts birds less often to fly at the target.

Tip: Have you ever heard of the environmental problem of Light pollution heard? Artificial light from us humans ensures that almost nowhere in the world still gets really dark. In fact, it is one of the main causes of insect mortality.

8. use glass blocks and screen prints

Natural light can also enter the house through glass blocks, which, unlike the classic window pane. No review enable. Their image is a bit dusty - but, for example, the industrial design says something can create real eye-catchers with it, which are also extremely bird-friendly, because they are recognized as an obstacle.

A similar effect - by the way, also comparable to the milky stickers - is created by screen prints on glass. With the help of the screen printing process especially flat materials can be wonderfully printed with any designs (e.g. line patterns visible to birds).

9. keep blinds and shades closed

Lowered blinds are the best protection against birds at the window
Lowered blinds are the best bird protection at the window | © Shutterstock, Stock image ID: 1384819280

The closing of external roller blinds, venetian blinds and shutters, especially during the periods with high bird traffic, helps you immensely to prevent bird strikes.

When they are shut down, birds see the windows namely (almost) no longer. Thus, neither the transparency, nor the reflection, nor the interior lighting can cause irritation.

In my opinion, the probably the most effective tip, to make windows bird-proof and protect the animals from glass panes.

Tip: Metal or wooden slats with a distance of up to 15 centimeters also work great as a bird screen on the window. Equally useful are closed wooden shutters.

10. pass on ideas and advice to those responsible for construction

You now know many tips and measures for keeping birds safe around glass fronts. But even better is to use your knowledge to share with architects and other responsible persons on (d)a construction site.

That's because construction professionals who directly incorporate bird-safe design elements into new construction and major renovations can have a significant impact on overall bird strike reduction with each new project. By Sensitization of professionals so you have a chance to make a real difference and provide increased safe windows for birds.

Tip: So feel free to share the link of this post with other people to generate more awareness about the problem with bird deaths on glass panes and its solutions.

Bird protection on the window, made easy!

Protect birds at your home
A robin on a bench in the garden | © maxwilliamson

How to prevent bird strike on windows? The answer isn't that complicated, is it? In any case, you now have a wealth of practical tips at your fingertips on how you can help the tail tits, starlings, wrens and many other bird species in your environment.

Just try to implement the tips and measures little by little and thus make your personal contribution to bird protection. Then I assure you that bird strikes on your window pane will at least be much less frequent - but ideally no longer occur at all.

"Love for all living beings is the noblest quality of man."

Charles Darwin (more at Animal welfare quotes)

Should a bird still fly against your windowPlease take care of him (as described above) and inform if necessary a bird protection association or the veterinarian of your confidence.

I really hope that my tips for bird protection at the window will help you. Do you have any questions, suggestions or further ideas to avoid bird collisions on glass? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay bird-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Other animals also need our protection. The Veganism and plant-based diets are an essential key to making cruelty to animals and to end the exploitation of animals by us humans. Unimaginable for you? My personal Motives for the vegan lifestyle I would now like to introduce to you next. I am sure that you will share many of the reasons.

₁ Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V. (BUND NRW e.V.): Bird strike on glass: Over 18 million or 100 million? Which is true? (Accessed 14 Oct. 2019), available at [11.07.2023].

₂ Bayerischer Rundfunk: Vogelschlag - So verhindern Sie, dass Vögel gegen Ihre Scheiben fliegen (Stand: 22.03.2023), available at [11.07.2023].

₃ Vienna Environmental Advocate: Bird Impacts on Glass Surfaces, available at [11.07.2023].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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