12 Tips on How to STOP Birds From Flying Into Windows

Tori Rhodes
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Add tape strips

Called window streamers, to windows extend a few inches out from the glass on each side. Birds, like other animals, apparently can't see the extreme edges of a window, and will avoid striking a window with solid streamers attached.

Some people find that narrow vertical stripes, rather than wide horizontal ones, work better. Lay out a few pieces of tape and see which kind of design works best in your windows.

"Windows of massed windows are more dangerous than windows of apartments or houses," says John Cooley, a wildlife biologist who is working on the problem of bird strikes on skyscrapers. "As they get higher, the view expands, and the birds get confused."

As an example, he says birds have a vertical sight of 25 or 30 meters, but can see horizontally only about 200 meters. Therefore, a flock of birds may think they have ample room to fly safely through a large area of sky—when what they're really looking at is the view through a long line of windows. Install exterior windows stops on buildings. These are bars that can be screwed in place outside the window frame to prevent the sash from being opened further than a certain distance (usually 2 to 3 inches from the frame). They can be quite inexpensive and easy to install.

Cover window with tempera paint or soap

If your windows are in a highly visible area, you may want to paint them with weather resistant window tempera paint. This will help make the window blend into the background. This is a great option for decorative windows that aren’t important to see through.

The easiest and cheapest way to cover a window is to use a film.

Many stores sell these, often designed for a bathroom window and shower or for a pool. This is a more convenient method.

You can place these on your window in seconds, they are clear so you can see through them and they’re barely noticeable. You can cut them neatly so that the film acts as your decorative window dressing.

Install the ABC Bird Tape

The ABC bird tape is a very simple and effective defensive measure to prevent birds from flying into windows.

You probably already know that usually it is instinctive for birds to fly south for winter. This is commonly referred to as a “migration”.

But what you may not know is that many birds get confused by glass windows on buildings, which are completely new to them.

Using the ABC bird tape is a very simple way to deter birds from flying into windows.

All you have to do is get some black and clear Duct tape and place a small strip of black tape on your window, about 1 in wide.

Remove the sticky backing and press it onto the window. You can also use the clear tape to put a “V” on the outside of the window. Birds tend to see it as a predator and will avoid your window.

Install zen curtains

People often get dismayed when birds or other creatures are injured by flying into glass windows or up against other transparent surfaces. After all, who wants to live with a bird-free house? Birds are welcome in many parts of the world. You will find them living in your yard, your roof, or even in your home! They are adorable creatures.

A surprisingly effective way to reduce window collisions is by installing zen curtains over your glass windows. The zen curtains look like mini shower curtains, but they are not made of fabric. Instead, they are made of solar-dried corn husks. The birds see the stained glass zen style windows as too bright or too dark, and they will completely avoid the windows. If you want, you can also get the zen curtains stained; it reduces the sunlight passing through the stained windows, so it is best for bird-friendly homes. Of course, you can combine the zen curtains with other window treatments, such as shutters, if you want to have both types of windows in your home.

Try out mosquito screens

These are very easy to put in place and will instantly make your place mosquito proof. I used to walk into an insect nest just about every time I climbed down to my letterbox outdoors, not anymore!

If you want to ensure that nothing gets into your windows, you can purchase a large piece of clear vinyl (which can be bought at a fabric store). Lay a layer across the window and then secure it in place by taping the sides down. The birds won’t be able to fly through and neither will larger insects.

Another alternative is to purchase a roll of bird netting from a hardware store. Apply this to the window and the birds will land on top of the netting without being able to fly down and get inside your house.

Use a bird net

To catch flying birds out of your property, just hang bird netting over the windows. Make sure that the netting is wide enough so that even when the birds flutter their wings they can still not get through the netting.

The net should also be taut enough so the frantic birds don’t just bounce off of it. And, preferably, also slippery enough so that the birds don’t try to perch on it either.

If you’re using plastic netting, don’t use the kind of plastic that looks like stretched out shower curtains. It’s not actually stretchy and the birds can go through it.

Instead, confirm that the netting is actually netted (as opposed to braided, which is a net) and that the mesh itself is of a size appropriate for bird-catching.

Even with a net, you should still locate the windows with the highest risk for bird collisions and also the direction of the prevailing wind. Ideally the netting should go in a torso level so that birds have to do a U-turn over it to get into your house.

A way to avoid a dead bird in your house is to build a ramp that leads away from the house.

Install one-way transparent film

When transparent film is installed, light goes through it but it is difficult to see from the outside. The two-way clear film lets light into buildings and is used for curtains, frosted glass, and signage. But with the one-way film on the outside, it now acts as a mirror. Birds, which have been conditioned to fly toward a window at certain times of day, will fly directly into the glass.

Use external sun shades or awnings

To minimize reflections and block incoming sunlight. Some suggestions:

  • Hang light colored curtains or use temporary taping
  • Install external sun shades
  • Hang a temporary shade screen over the window
  • Place internal window shades over the panes
  • Use decals that can be ordered off the Internet or in some hardware stores
  • Use wood cut into V-shape, stick it to the pane and it will cause the reflection of the glass to change and the bird will avoid hitting the glass pane
  • Add fake birds to the outside to mimic their reflections.

Move bird feeders and baths

It is surprisingly common to see a bird slamming into a window after flying into it. To prevent this, move your bird feeders and baths away from windows.

Why? Because many birds get drawn towards objects that brilliantly reflect the sun. So moving your feeders and baths to a shadier corner of the garden will definitely help.

Also make sure that bird feeders are not positioned right at the window. This way far less than a few birds will run into your windows because they won’t notice the presence of the windows when they are flying around.

Try out FeatherGuard

FeatherGuard’s window films are best for preventing damage done by birds and wasps. While we always recommend replacing glass with vinyl windows, some people still want to keep windows for looks, energy efficiency, and to reduce noise from outside.

FeatherGuard’s window film stops the reflection that draws birds and wasps to fly into windows because it eliminates the reflection that extends and magnifies the environment through the window.

Close the Blinds

Falling birds tend to be disoriented by their reflection in windows. So, make sure you close the blinds on windows where you know there’ll be a lot of bird activity. Also, the use of regular blinds can advertise the presence of a potential nesting site.

Install motion sensor lights

Near windows and doors.

Motion sensor lights will distract and frighten away birds who try to fly into windows and other glass. This works for some species, but not all.

Light Design

Recessed lighting can directly illuminate a window. Usually, it doesn’t provide sufficient lighting to cause reflection on the glass and cause a bird to strike it.

This is why recessed lighting for windows are more popular or practical than track lighting for windows.

Exterior Lighting

Another way to prevent birds from flying into windows is installing exterior lighting. Motion activated outdoor lighting that flashes on and off can work well.

Or, put long-lasting and bright colored tape around windows to scare away birds from flying into them.

Keep window coverings closed and shades drawn.

If you have windows with views, make sure to keep the blinds and curtains closed on a daily basis.

Close windows when you have major changes in the weather.

Major changes in temperature cause pumpkins, but the changes may cause a confused bird to strike a window or two.

This is not to mention that pelicans and birds chirp loudly, and when you throw on the central air or heat, you’ll have more windows being hit.

Install external shutters

Having external shutters, such as for an office, on your home is a great deterrent for birds. They feel safe from predators below your windows, so why would they fly into them?

One of the reasons is that birds often have a tendency to fly away from the light.

So you may need to put some tape on the back of external shutters to prevent them being drawn to the windows.

An additional benefit is that external shutters cut down on the amount of light coming from the windows.

Less light means your home will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. People also love the look external shutters give your home.

But, most importantly, it keeps you and your family safe around your home.