How to stop birds flying into windows

How To Stop Birds Flying Into Windows

It is an unpleasant experience, hearing the thudding sound of a bird flying into your patio doors or windows, or finding a bird that has died or is stunned because of this, but birds flying into windows is strangely quite a common occurrence. If you’re looking for ways on how to stop birds flying into windows, first you need to understand why it happens.

Why Do Birds Fly Into Windows?

There are several reasons why birds may fly into windows, with the main ones being:

  • Territorial behaviour. A bird searching for a potential site to nest accidentally sees its reflection in a window or glass door. It mistakes this for a rival bird to be driven away and so attacks its reflection believing their territory is under attack.
  • Increased activity during the spring and autumn mating and migrating seasons increase the frequency of these distressing events.
  • The perception is that the window or door is not a barrier but simply an unbroken extension of the outdoor space.
  • Where the windows and doors reflect the trees, shrubs, and outbuildings of the garden, birds see this as a landscape for further exploration.
  • Large and wide floor-to-ceiling spaces occupied by windows only serve to worsen this problem.

Should You Help A Bird Which Has Been Injured?

Sadly, sometimes birds that strike windows mid-flight often are killed upon hitting the window. Others may have injuries that eventually take too much of a toll on the bird and later die.

Despite this, on occasions, the bird may only be stunned and in need of a little time to come back around. Should you find a bird in this state, look to place them out of harm’s way, for example in a warm, dark box and cover it with a lid. Return to the box in 20-30 minutes and you should find the bird is ready to fly away on its own once more.

Bird on the floor after flying into a window

How To Prevent Birds From Flying Into Windows

There are easy-to-implement things you can do inside your home to deter birds from flying into windows (and doors). Start by identifying the key windows or doors that are causing the most damage and focus your activities on these.

Once you have identified the source consider the below:

  • If you have window blinds – for example vertical, roller, roman, keep them partially closed. Likewise, keep curtains partially closed.
  • If you want to keep your space light, add net curtains or panels which will let the light in but will present as a solid barrier to birds.
  • Affix a shape or several shapes on the windows that birds are flying into. For example, a hawk is a good self-adhesive bird silhouette. You are likely to need more than one on a large window and any bi-fold/patio doors. This will make the windowpanes more obvious to a bird.


There are options to consider for outside to which include:

  • Place wind chimes near your windows. The sound they emit should function as a good bird deterrent.
  • Can you place a film on greenhouse glass and whitewash shed windows, so they appear as a solid object to a bird?
  • Move your bird feeders and birdbaths. You have two choices. Either move them closer to your home, usually within three feet of the offending windows so any collision is likely to stun a bird rather than prove fatal. Or move them at least thirty feet from your windows so birds are more likely to see these windows as a part of your house.
  • If you have external shutters and your windows are not in regular use, keep them closed as much as possible.
  • Consider adding a sunshade or an awning to provide extra shade for patio doors and bi-fold doors. Not only will this benefit you from the glare of the sun, but it will also reduce or eliminate the reflection from the glass.
  • If you have young children, turn this into a creative project by using the windows as a canvas for paint patterns that can be wiped off easily, but the rain won’t wash the ‘art’ away.
  • An illuminated garden in the evening can look stunning but these lights can light up the windows, so they reflect a bird’s image at them. Consider how you can reduce this effect whilst still enjoying the look of your garden in the evening.
  • Consider an opaque window film that will let the light in but function as a barrier to birds because they will not be able to see their reflection.

What If All The Above Fails?

Please contact us if you are experiencing problems with birds flying into your windows. This could be part of a bigger problem with pest birds using your garden and home for food, shelter, and nesting.

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