Double glazed windows especially can be problematic, as they provide very clear reflections, and many birds only see open sky reflected in the glass and don’t realise it is a flat surface. With our population ever expanding, and increasing urbanisation, living in proximity with our bird species is becoming commonplace. This means that these incidences may become more frequent unless something is done. Recent studies found that pied wagtails nesting very close to a brightly lit windowed building had died following a window collision, with over 19 individuals examined.
Often the first you know about window collisions is the loud bang of the bird impact. Whilst larger birds can sometimes survive the impact, most smaller birds die from their injuries or from shock. Do anything you can to limit bird strikes.
We have a few top tips on how you can avoid window collisions for your feathered friends.
If you hear a bird collide with a window and it is on the floor but still alive, move it to a safe and dark place outside, so that it can recover without the worry of predation. Check on it after an hour or so, and if it is still there and alive (but not moving), contact your local wildlife rescue. The bird may have suffered a concussion or other internal injuries, and it is best to keep it in a safe space whilst waiting for help to arrive.
Basilio, L.G., Moreno, D.J., Piratelli, A.J. (2020) Main causes of bird-window collisions: a review. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. 92(1): e20180745 DOI 10.1590/0001-3765202020180745
Colling, O. M., Guglielmo, C.G., Bonner, S.J., Morbey, Y.E. (2022) Migratory songbirds and urban window collision mortality: vulnerability depends on species, diel timing of migration, and age class. Avian Conservation and Ecology 17(1):22. https://doi.org/10.5751/ACE-02107-170122
Duff, J.P., Richey, M., Holmes, J.P., Bianco, C., Duff, K.P., Lawson, B. (2020) Suspected collision trauma deaths in pied wagtails. Vet Record. 186(18): 609-610.
Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Zamora-Nasca, L., Lambertucci, S.A. (2021) Cat and dog predation on birds: The importance of indirect predation after bird-window collisions. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. 19(3):293-299.
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