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How to Help Prevent Home & Business Collisions


Help Make Your Business Bird-Safe

Building owners and managers, companies who lease space in larger buildings and individual employees whose offices have exterior windows can take action to help prevent bird window collisions.

Tall buildings that use the “lights out” guidelines below may save thousands to even hundreds of thousands of dollars from their energy bill and significantly reduce their building’s “carbon footprint!”

For tall buildings and buildings located on “migration corridors,” like lake shores and near rivers, minimize or extinguish night lighting (lighting visible through exterior windows and exterior vanity lighting) between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. during the migration periods of mid-August through October and mid-March through May. You can accomplish this by:

  • Utilizing motion detectors to control lights when lighting is necessary.
  • Scheduling night cleaning to reduce the amount of time lights are needed.
  • Programming light timers to fit hours of operation and cleaning.  
  • Reducing perimeter lighting.  
  • Installing lower-intensity lighting.  
  • At night, move activities requiring light to interior rooms and use low-intensity task lighting like desk lamps.
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For ALL Businesses

Here are a few ways that you can help make a difference.

  • Install CollidEscape, Bird Screens, WindowAlerts or other treatments on ground level windows, or use solar reflective blinds or curtains to reduce daytime collisions. View effective installations of these products here.
  • Include “bird-friendly” building concepts when designing or remodeling a building.

To find out how you can register your building as a BirdSafe Business, click here! You can also learn more about the organizations in our community participating in the BirdSafe Business Program.

For more information on how you can make your business safe for birds, contact WHS Wildlife Manager, Scott Diehl, at sdiehl@wihumane.org.

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Why do birds hit windows?

The two most common causes of daytime window collisions are:

  • Birds see landscapes in window reflections.
  • If a bird can see through to the outside through two aligned windows in your home, they confuse them for a tunnel and will attempt to fly through to get to the other side. 

The Baltimore Oriole on the right was injured when he saw the landscape reflected in the glass and tried to fly into it. Fortunately, the homeowner found the bird and brought him to the WHS' Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for help. But most birds aren't so lucky.

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How Can Collisions be Reduced?

Collisions like the Baltimore Oriole's can be reduced or even eliminated by any one of the following:

  • To avoid a bird's ability to look through one window and see the outside through another window, simply close the blinds or curtains on one of the windows.
  • Apply window clings or tape. You can purchase Whispering Windows (pictured at right) or UV-Reflective, WindowAlerts from our online wildlife store, Wally's Workbench. In some cases, to be fully effective clings may have to be placed as close as 4-6" apart.
  • Hang brightly colored fluttering ribbons in front of windows. Irritape holographic mylar tape is sold through Wally's Workbench or at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Alternately, tie unwanted compact disks (CDs) on string in front of the window so that they turn in the wind.
  • One of the most effective ways to reduce bird window collisions is to install Bird Screens or other fine-mesh plastic netting in front of windows (especially during periods of peak migration). Leave a few inches between the glass and the netting to allow birds to collide softly with the mesh instead of hitting the glass. Bird Screens are avaiable through Wally's Workbench at the Shelter or online. View effective installations of Bird Screens by clicking here.
  • Apply CollidEscape to the outside of windows. CollidEscape is an easy-to-apply film that greatly reduces the reflections on the outside of windows. CollidEscape is available online and at select retailers. View effective installations of CollidEscape by clicking here.
  • Place bird feeders very close (within three feet) or at least ten yards away from windows.
  • Lower window awnings to reduce window reflections.

Wally's Workbench and the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park, (located at 1500 East Park Place in Milwaukee,) have these and other preventative techniques on display.

Join us in saving countless wild birds from death caused by window collisions. Make your home a Bird Safe Home! Registration is fast and free. Click on the WIngs logo to the right to get started! Click here to see a list of Bird Safe Homes.

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