A safer sky for birds

Hummingbirds (Illustration by Cory Proulx)

Hummingbirds (Illustration by Cory Proulx)

Four ways to reduce bird collisions with your windows

Each year in Canada, an estimated more than 20 million birds die from collisions with buildings. While tall buildings often result in many migrating birds colliding at once, 90 per cent of mortalities are thought to occur with single birds striking single-family homes.

Birds passing through our neighbourhoods can mistake the reflected natural scenery in a window for a clear flight path. Here are four affordable ways you can make your windows appear less reflective:


Leave the window screens on or leave the slats on your vertical blinds half open.

Zen curtain

Install a Zen curtain to break up the glass’s reflection: hang evenly spaced (10 centimetres apart) dark-coloured strings (1/8” diameter) across the length of your window.

Tempera paint

Use tempera paint, which is non-permanent, to mark the outside of your windows in a grid spaced no more than 10 centimetres by five centimetres. For hummingbirds, lessen the vertical gap by half.


Decorate your windows with stickers, masking tape or even sticky notes. The closer the markings are to each other, the better. (Note that research shows that hawk-shaped silhouette decals are not effective at deterring birds.)

This story originally appeared in the spring 2021 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. To learn more about how you can receive the magazine, click here.

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