BELLINGHAM — According to the American Bird Conservancy, every year in the United States about 1 billion birds fly into glass and are killed.
When birds see a window, they see a reflection of the sky or trees and believe its safe to fly toward. According to The Humane Society of the United States, “at least half of the birds who hit windows die from their injuries or because another animal killed them while they were stunned and couldn’t escape or protect themselves,” its website states.
Here are five ways you can make your windows safer for birds:
1. Add a screen or a net outside your window, about 2 to 3 inches away from the surface. Birds will bounce off the screen instead of hitting the glass.
2. Put decals on your window. Stores such as Amazon have window decals that reflect light and deter birds from flying into the window. You can also paint designs on windows with soap or washable paints.
3. Put strips of tape on your window. The Humane Society suggests using vertical tape strips outside the window. If you use white tape, space the strips 4 inches apart, and if you use black tape strips, space them an inch apart. If the strips are too far apart, birds may think they can fly between the tape.
4. Install external window shutters, awnings or shades. You can close the shades to get rid of the deceiving reflection of the window, or use an awning or shade to limit the reflection.
5. Install vertical blinds, not horizontal. Vertical blinds are better at deterring birds, especially when only open halfway or less.
What if a bird has hit my window?
According to the Humane Society, there are five things you can do to help a bird that has had a collision:
1. Gently handle the bird with a towel and put it in a cardboard box or paper bag with holes for air, but that is securely closed.
2. Keep the bird in a warm, dark, quiet place.
3. Check on the bird every 30 minutes, but do not touch it.
4. If the bird is recovering, carefully take the bird outside and open the box or bag to see if it exits. If it does not, gently take the box back inside.
5. If the bird does not recover but is still breathing, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.