This spring (maybe because of the crazy weather), I’ve had two robins take to flying into the windows (mainly the kitchen windows). Thankfully they haven’t hurt themselves, but they are quite noisy and I didn’t want them to keep at it until they did injure themselves. I’ve put together a list of quick fixes to stop birds hitting windows. The problem is usually the worse in spring and fall during migration, but when I was a little girl I had a robin who kept it up all summer long. Every morning, bright and early, he’d thump my bedroom window – no need for an alarm clock.
Stop Birds Hitting Windows Option #1 – Bird Tape
I was surprised to find out that they have tape specifically designed to keep birds from smacking into windows called Bird Tape. It’s translucent so it lets light through, but not transparent so it provides enough of a visual barrier to stop the birds. You could also use masking tape or painters tape. Place the tape 4 inches apart vertically or two inches apart horizontally.
Stop Birds Hitting Windows Option #2 – Window Clings or Suncatchers
I love the look of suncatchers, and they provide an obstruction to view so that the birds are less tempted to fly on in. Window clings are less expensive and easier to put up. If you’ve got a known problem area, aim for at least a 4 inch grid. A suncatcher with crystals will spread its reflections over a wider area (and they look lovely).
Stop Birds Hitting Windows Option #3 – Tempera Paint/Window Paint/Soap
Any sort of applied coating that will block the light will block the birds. You could make it a seasonal project for the kids to decorate the windows that you know are prone to bird impacts. There are all sorts of window paints available, from large multi-color packs like the one picture above, to easy to use window markers to window art craft kits.
Left: robin stalking window. Right: Flying in for the hit.
Stop Birds Hitting Windows Option #4 – Physical Barriers
Lattice, mesh, screens – anything that will block your view will block the birds, too. This isn’t my favorite option because I like my view, but it may be a good fit for your situation.
Wrapper taped in window.
Stop Birds Hitting Windows Option #5 – Improvise!
Be creative! Use whatever you have at hand. I grabbed a wrapper out of the pantry and tacked it up with a piece of scotch tape, and the robins haven’t bashed into the kitchen windows ever since. Tuck a towel in the top of the window and let it hang down. Use some streamers. Put a hanging plant in the window. It doesn’t have to be fancy or permanent – just use what you have on hand or what you find to be attractive in your window.
P.S. You can check out North American migration flyways at birdnature.com.
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Originally posted 2013, updated 2016.
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