How to Prevent Birds from Flying Into Windows

Thud! A Bird Just Hit Your Window...

For anyone who enjoys watching birds, one of the more distressing things we see is a bird flying into a window, often with devastating effect. We take a look here at some ideas to keep birds from flying into windows of our homes or offices.

One popular misconception is that the birds are attracted to what they see inside the home or office. While this may at times be the case, much more often the attraction is what's outside, and the birds see it reflected in the window. That's why they hit office windows so often, as these are very often heavily tinted, with a highly reflective surface. So the birds simply see the window as an extension of the rest of their world, just more clouds and birds.

Bird-Hit-The-Window Poll

Have You Ever Had A Bird Fly Into Your Window?

  • Yes, I have had a bird hit our window.
  • Yes, I have had birds hit our windows, numerous times
  • Yes, but I now have decals that help prevent this from happening.
  • No, I have not had a bird hit my window.
  • No, I haven't but I should take some preventative measure.
  • No, I haven't and I don't care.
See results without voting

Window Alert Bird Deterrent Decals

Anything you can do to destroy this illusion can be helpful in keeping birds from flying into windows. For the average homeowner, one simple step is to put window screens up (if you have them) as the screens will offer a buffer from the window's reflection. They will also serve as a pad or material that will "give" in case you still have a misguided bird striking the window.

For windows that aren't as reflective, you may get away with something simple like hanging something light in color, or using drapes with a light colored backing. Of course for that to help you have to keep the shades drawn.

Bird Feeder Location

It may seem obvious, but if you are attracting birds with a window bird feeder, it may be that you can direct much of that bird traffic away by simply moving the bird feeder away from the window. While it may break your heart to move that bird house you built with your kids from a bird house kit, you can move it just a little and keep it in sight. Setting a platform bird feeder on a post several feet away can still be easily seen in the window, but not so hazardous to the birds.

Reflective Window Decals

The big problem here is that many of these solutions that make the window more visible outside the home have the downside of detracting from the view from inside the window. You have this beautiful picture window with a great view outside the home, and you have cluttered it up with decals or pictures.

The commercial solution for keeping birds from flying into windows are reflective bird decals. These decals are visible from outside, but just like tinted windows, they are largely invisible from inside the home. They come in a variety of styles, many are designed to frighten the birds away, such as those shaped like predator birds. Another one looks like a large spider web.

Home Made Solutions

Some people have had success with putting items that distract the birds near the windows. Examples of this include webs of yarn or string, or simple decals put around the window to highlight that it is a solid surface. Even something straightforward like writing with soap or shoe polish on the window can do the trick.

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Comments 7 comments

tebo profile image

tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

I haven't had a problem with birds flying into windows of my house, but I have had birds fly in to my shed and not know how to get out, so fly in to the windows and I hate it. These are good ideas for windows that attract birds and how to keep them safe. I like the idea of the reflective bird decals.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Some good ideas for trying to protect the birds. Birds have often flown into windows in my house or into my patio door, and often they died. I never did come up with a satisfactory solution. The reflective bird decals mentioned in your hub sound the best to me, but I would have to see them in action to know if they would really solve the problem from all angles.

This hub is certainly food for thought and some of these ideas may be good solutions for a lot of people. Worth reading and thinking about.

Voted up, interesting, and will share.


VivekSri 6 years ago

This is a commendable study and great piece of advice, though there's no harm letting them in as long as they are safe.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Any advice that saves birds lives is good. Useful info, thanks.


newsworthy 7 years ago

Indeed good ideas for bird safety. Do you have ideas for people walking into glass windows? I ran into one once before.


anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

I have chosen the 'bird feeder' option for my house. Thx for the info


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Great hub john. I don't seem to have that problem here. I have lots of cover for them to dive into when danger comes, large trees, bushes and such. And my feeders are all up high away from the house. It is heartbreaking to have one strike your glass and get severely injured or even killed.

By the way, are you familiar with Bird Watchers Digest?

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