Up to one billion birds in the United States are killed each year by flying into glass windows and other glass structures. The problem affects both wild and domestic birds, large and small, and it is a leading cause of bird mortality in the country. Birds do not see glass and fly right into it because they don’t perceive it as a barrier. Glass can act like a mirror and reflect landscape, trees, and the sky, so a bird thinks it is an extension of its environment instead of an obstacle.
Birds are more likely to crash into glass during spring and fall because they are migrating, seeking mates, or starting to learn to fly. They may be frightened or distracted by their surroundings when they hit a window and they often aren’t able to escape the collision because it happens so fast. In some cases, birds are completely crushed or injured and are as good as dead once they hit the glass.
The structure of a bird’s eye is different from that of humans, and it allows them to see in more color and depth than humans. Birds have a special organ called the pecten that helps them focus on objects and can even detect ultraviolet light, which humans cannot see. This can help them detect movement and other hazards, such as a moving window.
There are many ways to help reduce the number of birds that crash into glass Can Birds See Glass and end up dying from their injuries. For example, installing tinted or low-e glass on buildings and homes can make it more difficult for birds to see. The same can be done by adding screens to doors and windows or using curtains to block the sun and create a visual barrier for birds.
Another way to deter birds from flying into glass is by hanging items such as wind chimes or strips of brightly colored tape from the inside of a home. These objects break up the reflections on the window and signal to birds that there is a solid barrier in front of them. Window films and screens also add texture to the surface of a window that is less transparent and easier for birds to see and avoid.
Special ‘bird-safe’ glass is also available, and it is designed to look clear to people but has an invisible feature that makes it visible to birds. The glass is patterned with a pattern that looks similar to a spider’s web and includes an ultraviolet coating that only birds can detect. This is a simple and effective solution to help protect the lives of birds and prevent unnecessary deaths caused by hitting glass.