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As many as a billion birds in North America die from window collisions each year, and the biggest culprit is low-rise, residential buildings. Tenijah Hamilton, the host of Bring Birds Back podcast, spoke to Josh Morris of Seattle Audubon about what people can do to help birds spot the hazard. Stickers that form patterns of thin lines or tiny dots can make the window visible to birds without ruining your view.
Helping Birds See Windows
Written by Mark Bramhill
Tenijah Hamilton: This is BirdNote.
Window collisions are a huge problem for birds. They often see a tree or sky in a window’s reflection, and they fly into it at high speed. As many as a billion birds in North America die from window collisions each year. Shiny glass skyscrapers in cities are a problem, but the biggest culprit? Low-rise, residential buildings. There are just so many of them.
Even though it’s a big problem, there’s a simple solution, according to Seattle Audubon’s urban conservation manager, Josh Morris.
Josh Morris: Just help birds see windows! Usually you do that by applying some kind of patterning or vinyl sticker on the exterior surface of your window to help birds detect the window as an actual barrier.
Tenijah Hamilton: We’re not talking about a falcon decal in the corner of your window — these are thin stripes or little dots applied so that there’s no gap larger than 2 by 2 inches. People often worry about this ruining their view, but these patterns can be really subtle.
Josh Morris: there are products that are so minimal that you hardly even know they're there. Like Feather Friendly™ dots. They're just one-eighth-inch dots that you apply on the surface of your window.
Tenijah Hamilton: When we just see maybe a few birds hit our windows each year, it can feel like a small issue — but multiply that by millions of buildings. Each home and apartment made safer for birds makes a difference! You can learn more about the issue and ways you can help on our podcast, Bring Birds Back. Listen in your podcast app, or at BirdNote.org. I’m Tenijah Hamilton.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Digital Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds recorded by Gordon Hempton.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2021 BirdNote June 2021 Narrator: Tenijah Hamilton
ID# PodBBB-03-2021-06-16 PodBBB-03