Improve Windows to Protect Birds

Photo © Bill Gracey

Birds hit windows. Why, you might wonder? Because they see like us. If you stand outside a window and see a beautiful blue sky with billowing clouds and tree tops reflected back at you, birds see that, too. They, unfortunately, are not able to discern that they are looking at a window and not wide open space, making them prone to fly into the window.

New to Habitat Network? Welcome, at Habitat Network we are interested in understanding how people manage their spaces to benefit wildlife. If you aren’t familiar with our citizen science project, but just took the bird window quiz, we invite you to explore our site, which offers a science-based look at how to manage yards and other spaces more ecologically. Some small changes in practices can have major benefits to wildlife and people. If you are intrigued, consider becoming a Habitat Network participant by creating an account with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and mapping your yard or community to show us how you support wildlife.
Christine Sheppard windo example

Photo © Christine Sheppard

There are numerous solutions to this issue; and, we’ve created this Window Quiz to help you figure out which type of window treatment is best for you. And, yes, you can have your cake, and eat it, too. Meaning, you can keep your beautiful window views but still protect birds from hitting them.

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Photo © Stinne Vallø Ertmann

After taking the quiz, scan below to to see these options in action. We’ve organized this information based on the cost, durability, visibility, and ease of removal.

  • Inexpensive & Easily Removable
  • Inexpensive & Durable
  • Inexpensive & Unobstructed Views
  • Easily Removable & Unobstructed Views
  • Easily Removable & Durable
  • Durable & Unobstructed View
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Photo © American Bird Conservancy

American Bird Conservancy does an excellent job providing links to the companies where these window protections can be purchased. After figuring out which one is right for your needs, check out their page to find a retailer. Keep in mind that different windows might benefit from slightly different window protection.

Inexpensive & Easily Removable

Photo © Kate Sheppard, Gail Water, Bryan Ochalla, Triimbina Lodge

Inexpensive & Easily Removable

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Bird tape
  • Tempura paint
  • Post-its, masking tape, or newspaper squares
Inexpensive & Durable

Photo © Lynne Parkes, Kate Sheppard, Pam Hartman, Lisa Welch

Inexpensive & Durable

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Bird tape
  • Window Decals
  • Microfilament (fishing) Lines
Inexpensive & Unobstructed Views

Photo © Chris Earley, Pan Am sports Centre, Lisa Welch, Chris Earley

Inexpensive & Unobstructed Views

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Window Decals
  • Microfilament (fishing) Lines
  • Dot Decals
Easily Removable & Unobstructed Views

Photo © Christine Sheppard, Pam Hartman

Easily Removable & Unobstructed Views

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Motorized Shades
  • Microfilament (fishing) Lines
Easily Removable & Durable

Photo © Christine Sheppard, Christine Sheppard, Lynne Parkes at Patuxent, Christine Sheppard, Lynne Parkes, Pam Hartman, Lynne Parkes, Lisa Welch

Easily Removable & Durable

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Motorized Shades
  • Microfilament (fishing) Lines
  • Screens or other Shades
  • High-end Decals
Durable and Unobstruted View

Photo © Christine Sheppard, Christine Sheppard, Christine Sheppard, Solyx Florida Keys Window

Durable & Unobstructed View

Window options that might work for you are:

  • Motorized Shades
  • Solyx Window Films

Protecting your windows is a critical step for wildlife gardeners. Explore American Bird Conservancy for more information on where to purchase these lifesavers. To learn more about this issue and other ways to prevent window strikes, visit All About Birds.

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