Bird Experts Warn Homeowners To Cover Their Windows This Fall To Save Migrating Birds

Fall is a busy time for a lot of us. It’s back-to-school time for kids, and it’s also when we start thinking about preparing for the holidays, from Halloween to New Year’s.

There’s also that instinct to start bundling, gathering, and prepping for the long dark winter ahead.

And naturally, there’s the rush to go out an grab something pumpkin spice while it’s in season!

But it’s a busy time for our animal friends, too. They’re busy stocking up for the winter, insulating their burrows and nests, storing up food, and plumping up for hibernation.

And for birds, it’s especially busy. Birds that stick around for the winter are gathering and plumping, but birds that head south for warmer climates are gearing up for their migrations.

All of this activity means they’re flying around all over the place, and they’re not always on the lookout for man-made dangers.

One of the biggest dangers the modern world poses to birds are windows. Birds don’t always see them as solid objects, but think they can just fly right through. This is especially true in cities, which are full of glass skyscrapers.

In fact, window collisions are the second leading cause of death for birds (after attacks by cats), according to Canadian organization FLAP Canada, who estimates that anywhere from 100 million to 1 billion birds die from window collisions each year in North America.

But there’s good news: you can help out your local birds by keeping them safe with some easy (and surprisingly cute) steps! Read on to learn how.

[H/T: The Dodo]

Glass windows, like the kinds found in many modern buildings and homes, are the second leading cause of death for birds in North America, according to bird conservationist organization FLAP Canada.

Birds think they can fly right through the glass during the day, and can confuse reflections of lights for stars at night, leading them to collide with the glass and be injured or killed.

Other times, birds see a houseplant inside a house and think they can get to it, but wind up hitting the glass instead.

FLAP estimates that as many at a billion birds are killed by flying into glass each year.

Bird strikes, as they’re known, are especially common in the fall, when birds are migrating, and are especially common in cities around the Great Lakes region.

Autumn sees a spike in bird collisions because the birds are migrating in large numbers, and because for the birds who were hatched over the summer, this is their first time out in the world, and they may not be as savvy as an older bird.

But there is good news. Not only are there organizations like FLAP and others looking out for birds and caring for injured ones, but there are steps you can take right at home to make sure birds know that your windows are no-fly zones.

First, a note on whatdoesn’t work, though.

Window decals like this, which only take up a bit of space aren’t effective at warning birds. Birds judge where to fly based on whether or not they can fit through a space.

So with a decal like this, although they might not fly towards the shapes, they might still try to fly through the rest of the window.

Other people think that seeing the image of another bird, especially a larger one like a hawk or owl with frighten birds away, but that’s not true.

Birds actually catch on pretty quickly that decals or figures are fakes, and not threats, and they’ll fly right on by and into a window.

But don’t worry! You can still help the birdsand be able to enjoy your windows.

For decals to be effective, FLAP says, they must be spaced closely together, no more than four inches apart, and they should cover at least 80% of the window.

The best way to do this is with a small, light-colored or translucent decal, like these polka dots.

For some seasonal flair, you can also find raindrop or snowflake decals.

If you don’t want to stick things to your windows, try hanging something behind them.

Lace curtains with an open weave are a great bird-deterrent, and still let in plenty of light, plus they’re timelessly charming.

The birds will see the curtains through the window and recognize them as a barrier.

If lace isn’t your style, you can also get the effect of a barrier with a cool, vintage-style beaded curtain.

This will let in even more light than lace, and also not obstruct your view so much.

You can also take a cue from local shops and add some custom window flair with washable window markers.

These are nice because you can make any design you want, and switch it up to reflect seasons and holidays, and they’re a lot of fun for kids.

When you’re not home, close the curtains and blinds to block off any windows that might look like open spaces.

As an added bonus, you’ll protect your rugs and furniture from fading in the sun.

And as for office buildings, people are working on various high-tech solutions to keep birds safe on a large scale.

German glass company Ornilux is working on a glass that to us, looks crystal clear, but uses UV technology to include patterns that only birds can see, letting them know there’s glass in their way.

This way, skyscrapers can still have that sleek, modern look, but birds will know not to try to fly through them.

Help keep birds safe this fall by trying out one of the methods shown here. And as an added measure, keep your cats inside!

You can learn more about helping birds, and what to do if you find an injured bird, on FLAP’s website, and check out some of the birds they’ve saved on Facebook. You can also donate to help injured birds get well again.

And to make sure your favorite birds stay safe this fall,SHARE this information with everyone you know!

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