Who has had a bird dive straight into their window? Or heard the familiar tapping of a beak against the glass outside? Wild birds are known to attack windows believing there is another bird in their territory or even seeing the reflection of outdoors and attempting to fly through it. This is quite distressing for birds; they can injure or stun themselves, becoming quite vulnerable to others. Read on for solutions that help prevent injury and promote harmonious living for all.
birds sometimes attack windows and especially tinted glass, by pecking or striking them. This is usually because they can see their own reflection, and think it is a challenger for their territory.
Birds such as the Laughing Kookaburra, Little Raven, Grey Butcherbird and the Australian Magpie-lark have been seen to do this.
Birds may dive at a window because they can see another window through the glass and think that there is a clear flight path to travel through.
It can be quite distressing when birds hit against your windows. They can injure or stun themselves and leave themselves vulnerable to predators and can even damage fly screens or windows.
But there is a lot you can do to stop birds from attacking your windows, so that you can live happily side by side.
Remove the launch pad
- Often there is a particular branch or railing on your porch that the bird is launching itself from to attack the windows. Remove this branch, or place pot plants or hanging baskets or other items on the railing to make it inaccessible to the bird. If they can no longer see the reflections that are irritating them, then they won’t attack the windows
Check the light situation
- Have a look at the light and shade situation on your windows. Bright light or shade may be what is causing the reflections—so add some shade or trim some foliage as required to remove the reflections on your windows
- Stick brightly coloured paper or newspaper to the outside of the windows to remove reflections
- Place a piece of shade cloth, old sheet, towel, fabric or curtain over the outside surface of the window, perhaps from the eaves or window frame. This can be removed once the bird has lost interest. If the bird is striking more than one window, cover all that are being hit. Avoid hanging nets, as they are a common cause of injury to many animals
- Destroy reflections by painting windows with Bon Ami powder cleanser, white shoe cleaner or similar preparations, until the breeding season is over, which is typically from September to January each year
- Add shutters to the outside of the windows, or install anti-glare screens over windows
Block the flight path
- Place something in the flight path the bird is using to attack the windows. For instance, hang baskets or place hanging potted plants in front of windows
- Place a pot plant or a few potted plants inside in front of the window so it no longer looks like an open flight path
- Close the blinds on any windows that can be seen through the window that the bird is striking, so that it no longer looks like an open flight path
- Hang multiple strands of rope or other material over the windows. Place them away from the window at least the same distance as the overall length of the bird. This will impair the bird’s flight, and potentially change the image the bird is responding to, and still allow light to enter your windows
- Blow up a balloon and hang it in front of the window (inside or outside the house—see which is more effective). You can also draw a face on the balloon to make it extra confusing to the bird
- Avoid feeding birds as this encourages them to come closer to our homes where they are at greater risk from pet attacks and traffic accidents, and can cause problems. Birds and other native animals are fantastic at finding their own food
- If a neighbour is feeding birds, perhaps have a friendly chat to them about the subject. It’s great to provide water and locally native plants in the garden instead for birds. You can still enjoy wildlife without feeding
- Cut out the shape of a bird of prey such as a hawk, falcon or eagle, and stick it to the inside of your window. If the bird thinks a predator is near the window (or its shadow) it may avoid the window
- Buy a window decal in the shape of a bird of prey stick to the window.
- Create a bird of prey mobile and hang it in the window. Try searching ‘hawk silhouette’, ‘falcon silhouette’ or ‘eagle silhouette’ for inspiration. Try printing these cut outs and hanging them near the window.