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Reducing the risk of window strikes

Tuesday, 16th August 2016

It’s easy to say “move feeders away from windows” – but the reality is that part of the enjoyment of feeding wildlife.
Creating a wildlife-friendly bird garden is, of course, a rewarding pastime. At its simplest, there's little more to it than providing high-quality food and fresh drinking/bathing water; however, bird safety should always be a consideration for the wildlife gardener and - apart from hygiene and predation - perhaps the greatest risk birds face is the increased risk of window strikes. Mitigating this specific risk is quite easy, though, with the best forms of window deterrents.


 
Watching birds come and go from a busy bird feeder is entertaining and rewarding. The fun doesn’t have to stop in order to make a garden safer for birds – we just need to get our health and safety heads on to reduce the risk of window strikes.

One of the easiest (and most fun) things to do is to study birds’ flight path; where do they enter and then exit the garden? House Sparrows, for example, emerge cautiously in numbers from hedgerows and – where possible - take a short hop to bird tables and feeders. Larger birds like pigeons and doves are less coy in their approach; they may sit confidently on roof tiles and clumsily make their way to food and often return to the same spot when they’ve finished feeding. In which case, an open window or patio doors on the return journey might catch them off guard. Much to consider.

It’s easy to say “move feeders away from windows” – but the reality is that part of the enjoyment of feeding wildlife is watching wildlife and that’s hard to do if a feeder is hidden away in the trees. Hiding feeders away could, in fact, put birds in harm’s way as predators will find it easier to hide and hunt; cats – for example – soon learn to sit quietly in a tree/bush and leap onto a bird table full of birds.
 
Bird Silhouettes

Without a doubt, window deterrents reduce bird collisions and - for very little cost – are one of the simplest and relatively aesthetically pleasing ways of preventing birds from flying into windows. A pack of five bird silhouettes costs just £2.95.
 
Window Feeder

Another way of advertising a window and making its presence clear is to place a window feeder on it. This may sound counterintuitive, but it really does work; birds see the feeder and over time begin to feed on it. The window feeder casts shadows/reflects on the window and the birds can more easily see the danger and the obstacle. This approach is very popular as it has two benefits: reduces bird-window strikes and provides food close where it’s even easier to observe birds feeding.

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  • Comments

"Mr" by
19 Aug 2016

We have had six silhouettes in our garden-facing windows for at least 15 years but it is vey difficult to tell how effective they are. We loose birds regularly, sadly a number of Blackbirds and a range of small birds including finches, tits and sparrows.

"Energy Saving Glass And Bird Strikes" by
17 Aug 2016

Dr Waddington shares a very interesting observation (see below) and it highlights the need and opportunity for research on such matters. Please feel free to share your window strike information to help others nurture nature (safely) for all to enjoy...

However, it does seem that some glazing companies already consider bird safety an integral part of the research, development and manufacturing process. Here's one I found earlier: http://www.ornilux.com/ which has, apparently, been tested by American Bird Conservancy.

"Ms" by
16 Aug 2016

I have one window feeder but unfortunately it gets very little use - apart from a family of slugs that made its way slowly into the ready-meal section of the garden. I like the window feeder that you've displayed. Are they available via your company,please?

Haith's customer services:

Many thanks for your message. Yes the window feeder shown here is called the National Trust Window Feeder, £12.95.

Please copy this link and paste it into your browser: http://www.haiths.com/national-trust-window-seed-feeder/
Many thanks
Haith's

"Energy Saving Glass And Bird Strikes" by
16 Aug 2016

Since having the energy saving glass fitted in our windows we have notice a marked increase in bird strikes. Unfortunately a number of small birds have been killed and many pigions have crashed with dramatic hits. Any reports of bird strikes with regard to this glass? We had it fitted 3 years ago.

Haith's customer services:

Dear Dr Waddington

Many thanks for your message. Unfortunately we haven't received any other reports of this happening. Perhaps it could be the glass in the windows is very reflective.

I would recommend purchasing a pack of our Window Silhouettes - pack of 5 silhouettes for £2.95 to try and prevent this from happening.

Many thanks

Haith's

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