How to Prevent Bird Strikes on Windows

We know sometimes birds strike windows, and it's much worse during migration. Here are a few simple things you can do to stop window strikes.

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warblers in Ohio at magee marsh©ROB RIPMA

Unfortunately, birds sometimes fly into our windows. That’s why “bird strike window” is a common Internet search. And it can be much worse during spring and fall migration.

It’s never fun to see our feathered friends suffering after these window strikes. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to prevent them.

Birds fly into a window for different reasons. Sometimes they see straight through your house out another window and think they can fly right through. Other times, the reflection off the window plays a similar trick on them.

According to the American Bird Conservancy, on average window strikes kill two birds at each U.S. home every year. Here are a few ways you can help reduce this problem at your home.

  1. Use these products recommended by the American Bird Conservancy to break up the reflection and make the windows stand out to birds.
  2. Hang reflective items outside of the window. This will get the birds’ attention and direct them away from the window.
  3. Draw a pattern on the outside of your windows with a white paint marker.
  4. Place bird feeders within three feet or outside of 10 feet from all windows.
  5. If you’ve tried these things and you’re still getting window strikes, put screens on all your windows.

Carolina chickadee

Reader Tips to Prevent Window Strikes

Readers share clever ways they keep birds safe from reflective glass.

“My house is on a river with a large picture window. We had regular window strikes until I learned about bird netting and stapled a sheet of it onto the molding. It isn’t the prettiest, but we haven’t had a bird hit the window in two years.” — Kevin Maurice, Des Moines, Iowa.

Bird’s Eye View brand window deflectors are affordable and work well.” — Alison Jaggers, Akron, Ohio.

Glass Suncatchers In Window

“I hang brightly colored suncatchers in my windows. The light keeps the birds away.” — Carol Sanderson, Newington, Connecticut

“I installed strings over my large windows, along with wind chimes and window stickers.” — Janet Lussier, Coventry, Vermont.

“I place seasonal decorative decals on the outside of my sunroom windows, using large snowflakes in winter, hummingbirds in spring and summer, and leaves in autumn.”  — Pam Tomka, Washington, Illinois.

“Draw on your windows with a bar of soap. I simply draw X’s, but you can get more creative. The best part is that the soap washes off easily.” — Robin Roeben, Conway, South Carolina.

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Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.