Across North America, millions upon millions of birds are killed by collisions with windows every year – a death rate equivalent to several hundred Exxon Valdez oil spills. In fact, more birds die from hitting windows than from colliding with power lines, communication towers, wind turbines or vehicles.
As they fly towards a window, birds behave as though the clear, reflective glass is invisible to them. They may be attempting to reach habitat and sky seen through the glass or mirrored in the glass surface. Either way, the result can be deadly: roughly one out of every two strikes ends in a fatality.
“Sadly, birds are vulnerable to window collisions under a variety of circumstances,” says Meghann Cant, animal welfare educator for the BC SPCA. They strike windows of all sizes, in all types of weather. There is no time of day or season of the year when birds are safe. Impacts occur during spring and fall migrations, as well as during the winter when resident birds are attracted to feeders in large numbers.
“To help prevent bird strikes in your home, try using WindowAlert™ decals,” suggests Cant. These decals have a special coating that reflects ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but birds see it as a brilliant glow – much like a stoplight. “The more decals you can apply to a window the better,” says Cant. “That way, you create contrast with the glass beneath so that birds recognize and avoid the window.” Decals in the shape of predators – like the silhouettes of falcons or hawks – are no more effective than any other shape. To purchase WindowAlert™ decals and other wildlife-friendly products, visit Shop BC SPCA.
WindowAlert™ is a static-cling decal that may be applied to home and office windows. Purchase a set of four (4) online at Shop BC SPCA today.
If you come across an injured bird, call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre for advice on what to do. “Do not attempt to give water or food, or otherwise care for the bird yourself!” emphasizes Cant. “Injured birds require specialized care, and will have the best chance of recovery in the hands of trained experts.”
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welfare of local wildlife. Your gift can help raise awareness for wild
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Photo captions: You can prevent wild birds, like the Stellar's Jay (credit: Robin Bassett) and Waxwing (credit: Dennis McLaren), from being injured during a collision with a window by using decals that reflect ultraviolet light.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.