This Fall, Help Migratory Birds Avoid Window Collisions

Simple Fixes Can Save Lives

Contact: Jennifer Howard, 202-888-7472

(Washington, D.C., Sept. 28, 2016) Migratory birds are on the move, winging their way from nesting and breeding grounds in North America to winter habitat in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It's a spectacular journey—but it's one that many of them will never finish.

Habitat loss, outdoor cats, and pesticides all take their toll, but one of the biggest threats to the birds' safe travels is one they can't see. Hundreds of millions die every year in the U.S. when they collide with glass windows. High-rise offices create an obvious threat, but about half of collisions occur at private homes. Several birds of conservation concern are among the species most vulnerable to window collisions, including Golden-winged and Canada Warblers, Painted Bunting, and Wood Thrush.

"Zen window curtains" made with paracord are a neat way to make windows safer for birds. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph)

"Zen window curtains" made with paracord are a neat way to make windows safer for birds. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph)

Help is as close as your local hardware or art-supply store. Window screens, painted designs, and bird tape or decals, properly applied, can all deter birds from flying into glass.

Watch a new video PSA from ABC that calls attention to bird collisions and showcases creative—and attractive—ways to help.

Creative solutions don't require spending a lot of money. “There's a solution for everybody and for every budget,” said Christine Sheppard, Manager of American Bird Conservancy's Bird Collisions Campaign. “Cost, aesthetics, ease of application, or how long it lasts—which solution you pick depends on what matters most to you."

General guidelines: Spacing is important! Most birds will avoid windows with vertical stripes spaced four inches apart or horizontal stripes spaced two inches apart. More complicated or irregular patterns will also work as long as they follow the same spacing rules. For best results, patterns must be on the outside surface of the windows.

Here are five ways to make your home windows bird-friendly and help our fall migrants reach their destinations safely. (Visit ABC's bird-smart glass page to see a list of more products, including materials designed for architects and builders. We'd love to see your solutions; send us a photo.)

 

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American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

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