by Gael Bissell
A friend sent me this photo in late September after she heard this unfortunate juvenile sharpie, chasing finches, hit their window with a loud bang. We all have heard the crack at the window and then gone looking for a bird just hoping it flew away. Whether a bird is clearly injured or has flown away, birds crashing into windows often die. Studies show an average of 500 million (up to a billion) birds die each year after hitting windows in the United States and Canada(source, Condor 2014) and research shows that 54-76% of window collisions are fatal. Spring and fall migrations are the most frequent times for window collisions and the most critical time to put up those screens or other deterrents.
Cornell just released 7 simple actions that we can all do to help birds (https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/seven-simple-actions-to-help-birds/) and their first suggestion deals with birds and windows: Here is an excerpt:
The Cause: By day, birds perceive reflections in glass as habitat they can fly into. By night, migratory birds drawn in by city lights are at high risk of colliding with buildings.
What can you do? On the outside of the window, install screens or special tape to break up reflections—you can use film, paint, or Acopian BirdSavers or other string spaced no more than two inches high or four inches wide. This is a very simple and inexpensive solution (source, American Bird Conservancy) or https://abcbirds.org/article/new-window-tape-can-significantly-reduce-bird-collisions-at-homes/.