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Birds and Glass - Making Homes Safer

Cities are part of the problem — but not all!
© Damien Pollet View Large

Forty-four percent of bird/window collisions happen with low-rise and residential buildings. Birds just don't understand glass and fly into windows at incredible speed. Biologist Matt Shumar has some easy ways to make your home safer for birds. First, reduce lighting, which attracts birds. Turn outdoor lights off during spring and fall. Second, make windows visible to birds by applying special stickers (not the fake hawk and falcon type -- the goal is to break up the image). There’s more, too.

Check out the full story at BirdNote Presents.

Full Transcript



Birds and Glass - Making Homes Safer

Written by Mark Bramhill

This is BirdNote. I’m Ashley Ahearn.

Glass windows are one of the biggest threats facing birds. They see the reflection of open sky or trees, and they fly into windows at incredible speeds. These collisions kill as many as one billion birds each year in the United States. Cities are a part of the problem, but to really understand what’s going on with birds and glass, we’ve got to look closer to home. Literally. 44% of these collisions happen with low-rise and residential buildings.

Well, biologist Matthew Shumar has some easy ways to make your home safer for birds. The first has to do with light pollution — bright lights seem to lure birds to populated areas, and that’s when a lot of collisions occur.

Matt Shumar: We encourage homeowners to reduce lighting, not using omnidirectional lighting that is just going to shoot up into the night sky and not necessarily at sidewalks.

Ashley Ahearn: The next step is making the windows visible to birds by applying small, special stickers to the outside of the windows.

Matt Shumar: Tiny little fritted dots spaced every 2 to 4 inches can do quite a bit without really changing the aesthetic appeal.

Ashley Ahearn: But those big black bird window stickers? Shumar says those don’t work.

Matt Shumar: The intention is that birds would see those as a hawk flying over, and it would scare them away. But the thing about hawks is that they move. So they’re pretty much garbage.

Ashley Ahearn: You can hear an extended interview with Matt Shumar, Coordinator of the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, on our podcast, BirdNote Presents. And find out more about what you can do to make your windows safe for birds by heading to BirdNote dot org.

Producer: John Kessler
Executive  Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Ambient sounds recorded by Kessler Productions.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote   March 2020  Narrator: Ashley Ahearn

ID#  collision-10-2020-03-11    collision-10

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