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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Top Seven Tactics to Keep Birds From Crashing Into Windows

Written by PETA | July 28, 2008

OK, there are tons of perks when it comes to working for PETA. I’m talking cool coworkers, a kick-ass cause, a vegan vending machine, and a multi-office building with lots and lots of windows overlooking the Elizabeth River. But as is often the case, every perk comes with a price. And I’m not just talking about the small fortune I’ve invested in Twizzlers (I wish I could quit you, vending machine!). I’m talking about having HUGE windows. Honestly, we love birds, but we really, really don’t want them to literally crash our meetings.

You see, we PETA folks like our views, but unlike a lot of other offices, we also care about how our feathered friends view us. Luckily, some of those cool coworkers I was bragging about earlier have come up with some pretty tight tactics to keep birds from colliding with windows, and we urge you to implement them not only at home (if there’s a problem there) but also at work (if there’s a problem there):

1. Play detective. Are there certain windows in your home or office that attract more collisions than others? A little detective work goes a long way in helping you determine which windows to focus on.

Window Decal

2. Stop being so transparent. Find ways to avoid or minimize the reflectivity and transparency of glass windows and doors. Building a home or replacing windows? Use skylights, lattice windows, and materials that are nontransparent and minimally reflective.

3. Decorate with decals. We highly recommend clear decals that reflect ultraviolet light, which is visible to birds and allows them to steer clear and stay safe. If you’re more of a DIYer, bust out some “MacGyver” ingenuity and use tape, adhesive film, or other items on your windows to make them more visible.

4. Explore all your options! Look for ways to cover the maximum amount of surface area outside your window. We went with window tinting after putting interns on our balconies with glow sticks didn’t pan out (they left work and went dancing instead).

5. Avoid a “dine and crash” situation. Place birdfeeders and nest boxes at least 30 feet away from windows or within 2 to 3 feet of them.

6. Help our feathered friends. If you find a bird who is dazed and confused (face it, we’ve all been there), put some gloves on and place the bird somewhere safe and quiet to recover for an hour or two. According to our wildlife expert extraordinaire Tori, they can normally be cleared for takeoff after a brief rest and quick eval.

7. Be prepared if the birdie doesn’t bounce back. If your patient requires more medical attention, call animal control (have the number handy BEFORE something happens, and know what action to take for after-hours emergencies). If animal control can’t help, they should be able to refer you to a wildlife center, rehabber, or veterinarian who can. And remember, it’s illegal in most states to try to rehab a wild animal yourself, so you MUST take him or her to one of these places.

Posted by Amy Elizabeth

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  • Pat McC says:

    Corner windows especially need some sort of covering so birds don’t attempt a highspeed flythrough. We put matchbook shades at the 8′x7′ dual windows in our living room. The spectacular view is still there but the birds don’t think it is open for flight. Another thing if an injured bird does not recover in a reasonable amount of time look in the phone book for Wildlife Rehabilitation Groups in your area. A call to Animal Regulation will only delay the bird receiving care as Animal Reg does not have the knowledge or specially trained personnel to handle wild bird or animal injuries. I founded the wildlife care organization in our county in 1984.

  • Shannon Martel says:

    I hang old cd’s from my windows and they scare off the birds the other way and not toward my windows.They reflect the sunlight but do not put them too close to the window cuz when the wind blows hard they hit the windows and make a big racket.

  • crystal says:

    For a family that has had a turkey fly through a second floor window last fall I’d say I needed to invest in something to help these poor birds now I just put stremers in two main windows brightly colored ones I change monthly whats a few dollars to save a life ??

  • Robbin says:

    My favorite method is SOAP! Grab a bar of your fav vegan soap from the bathroom and rub the soap all over the glass. When it rains your window may get a little cleaner but generally the soap stays on until you remove it with vinegar water. This trick was used to reduce the reflective quality of the glass dome at the University of Alberta Hospital because a nearby nesting pair of peregrine falcons their babies had trouble navigating the glass in the late spring summer.

  • Carla says:

    Decorate your windows! I cut out black bird decals and stuck them to the windows from the inside and it works like a charm!!

  • Monika says:

    This really helps Thank you so much!!! Unfortunately I don’t know if this can help against car windshields.. I had a heartbreaking incident a few weeks back with a bird that flew right into my windshield and I had no idea what to do. When I was coming home the same way I didn’t see anything in the road But the fact remains that I have no idea what happened to the poor thing or even how to help it… But I’m definitely taking 6 and 7 into action if this happens again. The poor things…

  • Veronica says:

    Instead of pulling your blinds up just open the slats to let sunlight though. I believe you can buy plastic window grids for existing windows or you can apply stickon white strips to simulate grids.

  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks for caring for these casualties of windows Peta. Great suggestions. In a pinch you can scatter postit notes on the window. And they dont’ leave a sticky residue.

  • Roxanne says:

    PLEASE BLOG about the movement to ban horses buggies in Rome. It is cruel and it can help us in New York as well. Pleassssssssssse. lease support our fellow activists in Rome in their campaign to ban horsedrawn carriages. Write to the Rome authorities to ask that they ban this industry. Emails should be sent to the following Public Relations Office of the Mayor urpcomune.roma.it Council of the Environment ld.ambientecomune.roma.it The Councilor’s Office f.delillocomune.roma.it

  • Kelley says:

    I agree with Mayadust is best!

  • Jim says:

    I was looking for a reason to say that I don’t clean my windows now I can say that it’s for the birds! Pun intended…and also not intended.

  • Tabitha says:

    I’m stealing the streamers idea.

  • michael says:

    Was wondering if there is anyone around that could give me a hand w a protest at the Hopewell N.J. RD Site of Bristol Myers Squibb. It’s about Enviro Pollution and LegalState deception. I am the animal who has been unethically treated. Thes people need to be stopped. Thanx

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Great suggestions. Ornithologists whose materials I’ve read think these are the top 3 solutions 1. Placing streamers near the windows if it’s windy the streamers will scare away birds. 2. Already mentioned placing birdfeeders close to the window. Birds will slow down consierably to land on the perch and will land instead of trying to fly through a window. 3. My favorite leave your windows dusty. Birds will be able to see the window and know that it is not air. We never clean our windows and we have never had a bird window hit in the 12 years we’ve lived in our home.