SAD NOTE: Today (August 15, 2016) I found a dead thrush on the ground near the house. The bird’s neck had been broken. So sad. The bird looked like a Swainson’s Thrush, which makes its death all that much sadder as they are such rarities in the Homer area.
Those silly young fledglings chasing each other, frantically searching for food as they finally are to fly. I notice each year from late July to mid September there is a profusion of new birds around our house. Unfortunately we have a lot of windows. One does not have a view of Kachemak Bay without a lot of windows to enjoy such a view. But sometimes having all these windows results in one or more birds being killed or injured when they strike our windows.
What is a person to do? Well there are lots of things one can do to reduce or eliminate birds colliding with windows. There are a number of tape products out there to put on your windows. I bought this one from the American Bird Conservancy.
I recently installed the tape on several kitchen windows after I heard the sickening “THUD” sound coming from a bird striking the windows.
We haven’t had a bird strike those windows since. However, if you don’t want to have tape on the window you can try another cheaper and successful method I’ve used in the past – tempera paint.
Today I put the tempera paint on my living room windows (again after hearing the ‘THUD” from a bird strike – no dead bird found). These windows are large and cover one side of our house. In the past I have painted the windows from top to bottom, but I’ve found the birds seem to hit the lower portion of the window. So this year I am only painting the bottom third of the window. I will remove the paint once the young birds have left for the winter – sometime in September generally. Who knows, this year they all might leave sooner as the fledglings are out and about so much earlier this year.
The paint is easy to remove with soap and warm water. The first time I painted our windows Jack said it looked like we were in a prison, with the white paint looking like prison bars. Of course I pointed out prison bars are gray, not white. You do get used to the paint on the windows, the tape too.
You might be saying “Well a bird hit the window but it didn’t die so it must be okay”. Just because a bird doesn’t die on impact, doesn’t mean the bird doesn’t die within a day or two from the injuries.
Each year it is estimated over 100 million (yes millions) birds die as a result of collisions with windows. This includes windows from houses to skyscrapers. The more windows you have, the greater the probability a bird will strike those windows. What are you going to do to prevent that from happening? Birds need every chance they can get to survive. They already face so many other obstacles to survival – cats, wind turbines, habitat loss, weather, predators. Let’s help them by doing what we can to prevent them from striking our windows and dying or becoming injured (and thus more susceptible to predation).
Check out the American Bird Conservancy’s webpage on Bird Window Strikes: https://abcbirds.org/program/glass-collisions/. See what this organization is doing to reduce or eliminate window strikes.
Or google ‘bird window strikes’ and find a myriad of other sources of information on preventing window collisions, such as http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/faq/attracting/challenges/window_collisions.
Try various methods to find out what works best for you and your birds. Happy Birding!!!