What To Do About Glass Strikes

Glass strikes are the number one cause of bird deaths each year, which makes them an important issue to tackle. There are two types of glass strikes and two reasons behind these unfortunate mishaps.

  1. When a bird runs full speed into your window or glass door, resulting in a heartbreaking thud and the bird most often being stunned or dead. This happens as a result of the bird seeing the reflection of the yard and sky in the glass and thinking it can fly through. Spring and fall migrations are peak times for this type of strike. This can also happen if a bird at your feeder is trying to quickly escape a hungry hawk.

  2. When a bird repeatedly attacks your window or car mirrors, thinking another bird has encroached on his territory. This type of strike usually happens during nesting season in the spring and summer months. Cardinals, Robins, and Bluebirds are just a few of the species that can be quite aggressive and prone to this behavior.

Both of these types of bird strikes are the result of a reflection appearing in the window, whether it be of the sky or of the bird itself. This means that in order to prevent these strikes from occurring we need to break up the reflection in the glass that the birds are seeing. But how do we do that? There are several options:

First, you can apply stickers to the outside of your window. This shows the birds that there is in fact a surface or barrier there to be avoided. The trick is to spread these stickers out so there are no large gaps that could be mistaken as an open space to fly through. This solution works best for smaller windows where those large gaps can be prevented. If you have a larger window, you can try the dot stickers pictured above. This systematic application creates an obvious barrier that the birds can see over a larger pane of glass. It can take some getting used to for those of us looking through the window, but eventually it becomes no more obvious than a window screen and it's a small price to pay to avoid hearing birds crashing into your house. We carry both of these sticker options at the store for your convenience. Just remember to apply them to the outside of the window, as they will not be seen if applied inside.

Another, more economical option that can be useful for dealing with strikes like those resulting from territorial birds is to create a film on the window using soap and water. To do this simply wash your windows with soapy water and then allow to dry without rinsing. This creates a film on the glass that breaks up any reflections the birds may be seeing. This is more effective as a temporary solution, as it can be a little annoying for us humans seeing this film on our windows. However it works fine for fending off territorial birds that will most likely only be around for a few weeks. Again, remember to apply this treatment to the outside of your windows, not the inside.

If you happen to have a feisty bird attacking your car mirrors, a easy solution is to simply cover your mirrors with plastic bags. This can be a nuisance but it certainly beats having your car covered in scratches and poop from an angry father bird. And like the dish soap it is only a temporary eyesore until the nesting parents move on for the rest of the season.

Need help deciding on the best solution for your yard? Stop in and ask any of our associates, we're happy to help!