Protecting migrating birds from crashing into big modern windows

Growing up in a mid-century modern tucked into the woods, I buried many birds – large and small – that died after crashing into our big windows. It was heart-rending to watch the exquisite creatures try to move, give up, and finally see life fade from their shiny, bead-like eyes. After I was sure they'd "gone" I'd pick them up and examine them: broken, loose necks causing the head to loll, feathers so much more variegated when spread out up close than you see when they perch or fly. . . I mourned each one and often slipped a few seeds into their mouths so they wouldn't be hungry when they got to the bird after-world (remember being 6 or 7?).

Many years ago when vacationing in Switzerland, my father noticed black silhouettes of birds applied as decals to large windows designed to trick flying birds into thinking there was too much avian traffic ahead and to avoid it. He tracked them down and brought some home. They remained on the windows for years, to the annoyance of the window washer. They were slightly effective, but not completely by any means.

Here are two new options I learned about here for keeping birds from beaning themselves on you windows: WindowAlert which is a window decal that is virtually invisible to our eyes but is supposed to be clearly visible to a bird. Then there's the more showy, but perhaps more effective FeatherGuard, which is a hanging mobile that attaches to the outside of your window by suction cup. dangling, swirling feathers are a danger signal to birds that another bird has been killed by a predator, and they should choose a different flight path.

It's worth trying something, as woodland birds like wood and hermit thrushes, oven birds and veerys' forest floor habitat has been so severely compromised by hungry deer. They need all the help they can get. – GF

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