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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 tips for bird protection at the window to prevent the life-threatening impact of birds on glass panes? Then you've come to the right place! Large glass fronts are beautiful and let a lot of light into your home. However, they pose a real danger to birds. Partly because they can't see them as an obstacle.

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

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

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

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

Reasons: Why do birds fly into windows so often?

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

Whether it's plastic waste, cars, fences, wind turbines or robotic mowers - man-made objects not found in naturecan quickly become a deadly danger to wildlife. This is also one of the Reasons why animal welfare is so important!

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

From the birds' point of view, glass panes are invisible obstacles. The animals believe that they fly through the openings in the house. The blue sky, the clouds and the garden plants reflected in the windowattract them. The larger, cleaner and clearer the windshield, the greater the risk of a collision.

It can even lead to Territorial behavior if the animals suspect a competitor in the reflective pane. In addition, birds are particularly irritated by the lights switched on in buildings at dusk 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 to do something good for the animals and enjoy the birdsong, after the first impact of a bird the Stand shock in the face.

After all, the animals are first helpfully offered food, shelter and even a sand bath - but are then exposed to the great danger of a reflective glass pane out. But nobody is perfect and collisions cannot be completely avoided. What's important now is that you help the bird that has collided.

How to give first aid to injured birds

Have you heard or seen 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'll show you what to do if the worst comes to the worst:

  1. Rate condition: Unresponsive animals are often unconscious and not dead. So first check whether you can feel the pulse, breathing or heartbeat. If in doubt, the pupil reflex test with a 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. You should therefore first place it carefully in an old shoe box 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 it is not exposed to the risk of cats or other predators.
  3. Re-evaluate condition: How is the animal half an hour later? Open the lid of the box and observe its behavior. Ideally, it will have survived the shock well and will now fly off again. If this is not the case, you should check whether you can see any noticeable external injuries. If it is unable to fly, continue with the next step
  4. Contact your veterinarian: Is the bird still sitting in the open shoe box a few hours after hitting the window? Then it is best to call the local bird protection association or a veterinary practice in your area. Together you can then find an individual solution to help the animal.

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

10 tips: How do you prevent birds from flying into 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 birds that have crashed is great - but such situations should of course be avoided in future. Fortunately, each of us has the chance to make life a little easier for the birds and to Minimize the probability of collision with windows.

According to the Bavarian Association for the Protection of Birds (LBV) black silhouettes of birds, however, are not among the appropriate measures. The statement is justified by the fact that the animals do not recognize natural enemies, but at most a tiny obstacle that is simply flown around and not even recognized at dusk.₂

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

  • Distances: The marking elements on window panes should be a maximum of one hand's width apart. This is important so that birds don't get the idea of flying 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 up the reflection, markings and obstacles should be placed on the outer side of the window if possible.
  • Line Pattern: Horizontal lines must be at least 3 millimetres thick to be recognized as an obstacle and may have a maximum gap of 3 centimetres between them. Vertical lines must be 5 millimetres thick and have a maximum edge distance of 10 centimetres.

Us There really are countless ways to make your windows safe for birds. I would now like to show you 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.

1. attach curtains and drapes to the window

In contrast to the "black bird stickers", curtains and drapes are Large and visible visual obstacles.

Even if they do not break the reflection, as they are located on the inside of the window pane, they can prevent birds from flying into a window. At the same time, they allow you to still have sufficient Natural daylight penetrates into the room.

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

Some garden or balcony owners place 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. as far away as possible from your glass panes, you will reduce the risk enormously. Once you have implemented this tip, you are guaranteed to experience significantly fewer bird collisions.

3. decorate windows with colorful motifs

In order to Reduce transparency of glass panes and protect the birds, you can also attach colorful motifs and creative patterns to the pane. How it works for example with washable paint.

Painting and pasting the pictures is also a particularly fun 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: Birds tend to perceive dirty windows as an obstacle. The dust and dirt adhering to them also inhibits visibility and, not least, 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 generally attract birds, they serve as a visual barrier in front of a pane of glass. Ultimately, it ensures that the animals reduce their speed and the intensity of a potential impact is significantly 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: It is better not to place plants in pots hanging from the inside of the window or standing on the windowsill. There is a good chance that birds will try to land on them and be surprised by the glass.

5. install fly screen on the window

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

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

To protect birds from panes of glass, classic String curtainsas they are often found on glazed patio doors. Just like 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 individual matt stickers tailored to the respective pane to attract birds. signalize that it is a solid surfacewhich cannot be flown through.

The Matte effects of milky, semi-transparent adhesive strips refract the light and experience has shown that they significantly prevent bird strikes on windows. Are you reluctant to cover the entire surface? Then please take the above rules of thumb for recommended minimum distances into account when designing the exact layout.

Tip: How you can help birds and others Help animals in everyday life otherwise by the way, I will explain in a separate article. If you like, please click here!

7. reduce lighting indoors

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

The Lower window reflection ensures less irritation and ultimately entices birds less often to fly at the target.

Tip: Have you ever heard of the environmental problem of Light pollution heard? The artificial light provided by us humans ensures that almost nowhere in the world is really dark. It is actually one of the main causes of insect mortality.

8. use glass blocks and screen prints

Natural light can also enter the house via glass blocks, which, in contrast to classic window panes No review make it possible. Their image may be a little dusty - but industrial design, for example, can create real eye-catchers that are also extremely bird-friendly because they are recognized as an obstacle.

Screen prints on glass create a similar effect - also comparable to the milky stickers. With the help of the screen printing process can be used to print any design (e.g. line patterns visible to birds) on flat materials in particular.

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

Closing external roller blinds, external venetian blinds and Venetian blinds, especially during periods with high bird traffic, helps you immensely to prevent bird strikes.

When they are shut downbirds can (almost) no longer see the windows. This means that neither the view, the reflection nor the interior lighting can cause irritation.

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

Tip: Metal or wooden slats up to 15 centimetres apart also work excellently as bird protection on windows. Closed wooden shutters are just as useful.

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

You now know many tips and measures for the safety of birds on glass fronts. But it's even better to put your knowledge to share with architects and other responsible persons on (d)a construction site.

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

Tip: So feel free to share the link to this article with other people to raise awareness of the problem of 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 can you prevent bird strikes on windows? The answer isn't that complicated, is it? Anyway, you now have a wealth of practical tips on how you can help the long-tailed tits, starlings, wrens and many other bird species in your area.

Simply try to implement the tips and measures bit by bit and make your own personal contribution to bird protection. Then I can assure you that bird strikes on your window pane will at least be much less frequent - and 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, if necessary, inform a bird protection association or the vet you trust.

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 a plant-based diet are an essential key to Cruelty to animals and end the exploitation of animals by us humans. Unimaginable for you? My personal Motives for the vegan lifestyle is what I would 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 correct? (as at: 14.10.2019), available at [11.07.2023].

₂ Bayerischer Rundfunk: Bird strike - How to prevent birds from flying into your windows (as of 22.03.2023), available at [11.07.2023].

₃ Wiener Umweltanwaltschaft: Vogelanprall an Glasflächen, available at [11.07.2023].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

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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