Our windows reflect a lot of beauty, but please make sure the windows at your home or business are not harmful to birds. During the Almonte screening of The Messenger, a documentary film about the decline of songbird populations, the issue of fatal light attraction and collision with windows was highlighted. Two “striking” revelations from that film, and worth emphasizing particularly for our rural area of Ontario:
- Windows that reflect natural surroundings (trees, hills, forest, water etc.) may present more of a hazard to birds than those reflecting an urban landscape
- many more bird deaths could go unnoticed in a natural environment or in locations where industrial buildings are directly on the water (hydroelectric and other structures).
There are ways to reduce collisions at home and elsewhere.
According to Safe Wings Ottawa:
“Residences are responsible for 44% of bird collisions, while low-rises (4 to 11 storeys) account for 55%, and high-rises less than 1%. This is because most collisions happen within 5 storeys of the ground, and there are many more houses and low-rise buildings than big towers.
Many of these incidences go unnoticed because homeowners are away during the day, in another room, or otherwise not aware when collisions occur. They also may not find any dead or stunned birds because these are quickly picked off by neighbourhood cats or other creatures.
So just because you haven’t witnessed many collisions does not mean your home is not killing birds — for every collision you witness, there may be dozens more every year. And that means treating any hazardous windows as well as clear deck railings can make a tremendous difference.”
The key to preventing collisions is to make your windows visible to birds by applying visual markers in a dense pattern, ideally with a maximum gap of 5 cm (2″) between pattern elements, on the exterior surface of the glass. Read on for tips and strategies for reducing collisions at home.”
Read more at Safe Wings Ottawa about how to ensure your house or business does not present a risk to birds; also what else you can do to help reduce bird mortality due to collisions by monitoring buildings, reporting collisions, rescuing birds and other volunteer activities.