For Birds, Danger from Windows is Pane-fully Clear

PROMO Intro Kingfisher 512x219

From skyscrapers to one-story ramblers and everything in between, our fenestrated structures cover the landscape, presenting a deadly maze of mirrors to flying animals. It's estimated that in the U.S. alone, up to a billion birds die each year from window collisions. It seems that some windows appear flat-out invisible to birds on the wing; in other cases, the glass reflects trees, sky and other scenery nearby, fooling birds into thinking the coast is clear. Territorial birds may even attack their mirrored selves with lethal intentoften resulting in a demise worthy of Greek tragedy.

Short of boarding up every window on Earth, there are easier, more feasible steps we can take to mitigate this hazard. Window decals, screens, and other simple obstructions make glass more visible to birds. Placing feeders and indoor plants further from windows can also help reduce impacts.

The injured Belted Kingfisher in the photograph struck a window at Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge. He's now at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Corvallis, hopefully feeling better.