How to Reduce the Risk of Window-Related Death for Birds

by Jenny Holt

The natural biodiversity that the earth can offer us is under significant threat from human development, and the range of amazing species that are indigenous to Pakistan are no exception. With each inch of destruction of creatures’ natural habitat, we are reducing the legacy of future generations to enjoy a world that lives in equilibrium and allows all life to flourish.

The bird population is no exception to this risk, with a trend that suggests that endangered bird species are gradually becoming more threatened by a number of factors. Not least of these are the increasing number of high rise buildings that are being constructed across the country, creating a threat to unwary birds that fly into the reflective windows of the constructions, only to be badly injured or immediately killed. There are measures that we can take to prevent this trend from being perpetuated, by making all of our new and existing windows bird safe and risk free.

Measures for high rise buildings

High rises are one of the biggest threats to the bird population; in the US, for example, an estimated 56% of bird deaths from window collision occur because of buildings over 11 stories high. Considering that only 1% of buildings in the US fall into this category, the risk becomes strikingly apparent.

The best way to stop this from happening is to use a type of glass that interrupts the reflective properties of normal glass which confuse birds into believing that they’re flying into clear sky. Standard glass can be installed at an angle that stops them reflecting the tress or sky, a measure that can sometimes present architectural problems. Perhaps a more simple measure is to install fritted, etched, or sandblasted glass, all treatments which are almost invisible to the human eye but which disrupt the reflection enough to ward off birds in flight.

Measures for smaller dwellings

Although the risk isn’t as great as with high-rise buildings, we can also take measures to protect birds from the windows of our own homes, smaller offices, and community buildings. It isn’t always financially or practically viable to replace the glass, so try installing exterior wooden shutters or blinds, hanging wind chimes, having insect screens in place, or placing stickers on some of the panes of the window. External shades and awnings can also help, as can tape strips or anything which breaks up the continuity of the reflection.


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