About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Young Birds Crashing into Windows

I wonder if somebody out there can offer any advice on this problem.  Last year when we had loads of fledgling finches, jays and woodpeckers hitting our windows. They either fly away stunned, or knock themselves out completely or in the worst cases a few have either been killed outright. Can anybody offer any advice or give us any tips? Any suggestions would be welcome by us and the fledglings!

This is, unfortunately, a fairly common problem, particularly at this time of year with young birds flying for the first time and migrating birds beginning their journey south.

Window strikes are hard to eliminate totally, but there are ways to reduce them and/or reduce their severity:
  • Decals like Window Alert placed on the outside of windows have had the most positive feedback from customers. Each decal contains a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds.
  •  Locate feeders and birdbaths within 1-2 feet of them so they can't gather enough speed to cause significant injury or about 20-30 feet from windows so birds have time to change direction.
  • Window screens will reduce injury even if a bird flies into it. Use them where practical.
  • Mylar reflective strips hanging loose in front of the window will move in the breeze and alert birds flying too close to a window.
It is estimated that between 100 million and one billion birds are killed every year in the United States when they crash into glass windows. 
If you do have a window strike and the bird is injured CALL FOR ADVICE! 

- The best course may be no interference. For a list of licensed rehabilitators in our area click HERE.
- For a complete list of Michigan Licensed Rehabilitators visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/
- Or to search for a local wildlife rehabilitation group by zip code at: http://www.wildliferehabber.org/

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