As is well known, birds typically collide with a window during the daytime for one of two reasons:
Either the window is reflecting the surrounding habitat, and birds can’t tell the difference, or the window is transparent, and birds see through it to appealing objects on the other side.
Fortunately, a number of products are now on the market that will make the windows of your house less dangerous to birds without substantially reducing your ability to see through the glass from the inside. These include antireflective vinyl or polyester films and decals, and bird-protecting strings, nettings, and screens.
Below are links to manufacturers of UV-reflecting glass, tapes, decals, and liquids that you can apply to the exterior of the windows of your home. The products reflect ultraviolet light, which birds can see but we can’t. Birds see it and are warned of the glass, but light still passes through.
Designed and tested by American Bird Conservancy, BirdTape alerts birds to the presence of glass while still allowing light to pass through. Available in three-quarter-inch and three-inch widths. Simply cut to the desired length, remove the backing, and apply to a window’s exterior, or purchase three-inch tape pre-cut into squares.
Feather Friendly Do-It-Yourself Tape
Small white markers are transferred from the tape to a window’s exterior, leaving an attractive, unobtrusive grid of dots that make the glass visible to birds while providing more than 98-percent-clear viewing from inside. Similar markers were recently applied to the exterior of the Consilium Place office complex in Toronto, the subject of a lawsuit over bird strikes decided in November 2012. Each residential kit comes with 100 feet of marker tape, two measuring strips, and installation instructions.
Ornilux Bird Protection Glass
Tested by ornithologists in Germany and at American Bird Conservancy’s flight tunnel at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Pennsylvania, Ornilux glass is laminated with a UV-reflective, patterned coating that is virtually transparent to our eyes but visible to birds. Available for new construction and window replacements as either laminated glass or a double-glazed insulated unit.
WindowAlert Decals and UV Liquid
Decals cling using either static electricity or a low-tack adhesive. Each has a coating that reflects ultraviolet light, which birds can see but we can’t. When placed on a window’s exterior using the 2 x 4 Rule, the resulting glow pattern deters window strikes. Choose from hummingbirds, butterflies, maple leaves, and other shapes. UV Liquid is an easy-to-apply liquid that can be daubed on a window’s exterior and dries clear, leaving marks that birds can see. Use alongside decals for the best coverage and protection against bird strikes.
This post was excerpted from the article “Surefire Ways to Make Windows Friendly to Birds,” which appeared in the April 2013 issue of BirdWatching magazine. Read the full article and download a PDF.