How to keep birds from flying into your windows

A cardinal takes flight as the bird forages for bush berries along the Picnic Point shoreline during a winter sunrise in 2016. Photo: Jeff Miller/UW-Madison.

Anna Pidgeon, a professor in the UW-Madison Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, recently sat down for a podCALS interview.

Birds often collide with structures that have windows. This is because they often have trouble perceiving window panes, Pidgeon explained.

“Birds are apparently unable to perceive glass. When they see a reflection in the glass they perceive it as open sky or as habitat or if they see through the glass to plants inside of the building or if they see through the glass to other side they don’t recognize there is a solid surface in between them,” Pidgeon said.

Pidgeon and Kenyon also discussed other topics, such as particular risk times and factors for birds, how to make buildings more bird-friendly and more.

One such way to to reduce collisions is to consider building design. The location of bird feeders is important; placing bird feeders close to the home prevents birds from building up enough momentum and hurting themselves when they’re startled. Pidgeon cited UV decals as another measure – these stickers emit light in the electromagnetic spectrum that birds can perceive better.

The full interview with transcript can be found on the CALS News website.