Project Recap: Spring Window Collision Prevention

Apr 18, 2023
Window treated with Friendly Feather

Spring is here, and songbird migration has begun. Along with the wonderful bird watching opportunities, however, comes a grimmer side: window collisions.

Window collisions account for nearly one billion songbird deaths every year in the U.S., and skyscrapers account for only a tiny fraction of that. Over half of all collisions occur at homes and small commercial buildings.

Efforts to prevent bird window collisions do more than save the lives of birds. There are numerous benefits for properties, property owners and building occupants. Dead and injured birds around your building are unsightly and attract scavengers whose waste can spread disease.

While commercial solutions can be costly, you can reap immediate benefits within your budget by tackling the problem with a phased approach.

Success Story: Nature Center Classroom Window Treatment

At Migratory Bird Management, we have been working with clients at a nature center in DuPage County to make their building entirely bird friendly by treating their glass windows with Feather Friendly Bird Collision Deterrent Markers.

Nature center

The first phase of the project began in the fall of 2021 with an assessment of the building’s risk levels to determine the priority areas for treatment. We identified a collection of windows in two classrooms where bird collisions were occurring most frequently. In one classroom, the windows faced out over a pond and into the nearby prairie and woods; the other overlooked a pollinator and native garden. Collisions were regular, disruptive and disturbing, especially to children.

Windows reflecting the sky

The natural habitat reflected in these classroom windows posed a high danger for birds. Feather Friendly allows them to notice the glass and veer off at the last minute instead of colliding.

Window reflecting the sky

This classroom window posed a reflection and fly-through risk.

The second phase occurred in the fall of 2022, and focused on the bathroom windows, which were the second highest risk area according to the assessment. These windows were both a reflection risk, where the bird sees habitat in the window, and a fly-through risk, with two windows on opposite sides matching up so that the birds think nothing is impeding their path. Imagine using the restroom and hearing a THUNK right above you! Patrons were horrified and staff had many dead birds to clean up on the pathway and deck around the restrooms. Results after installation were immediate and no collisions were reported for the rest of the fall migration season!

Low angle view of treated windows

Feather Friendly is very discreet, protecting birds from the dangers of glass!

Treated and untreated window comparison

Before and After: Right side treated, left side pending treatment. Notice the “fly-through” seen in these windows!

Window collision prevention can be costly for large commercial buildings, but our assessment tools and phased treatment plans can help save birds, improve employee morale, prevent health risks due to scavengers, and reduce maintenance and clean-up costs within your budget! By starting with the highest risk areas and breaking down treatment into accessible and successful amounts, we can help any building become bird friendly!

The Outcome: Zero Bird Collisions & a Learning Experience

Since the treatment, no collisions have been reported and the project has become a wonderful teaching tool about urban structures in nature and the importance of peaceful coexistence between birds and humans.

It’s the kind of work we love at Migratory Bird Management: identifying and implementing customized solutions that are cost effective, biology-based, humane, and successful.

From airport runways to poultry farms to public parks and office buildings, our clients rely on us for safe and professional solutions to their bird conflicts.

Reach out to one of our team members to learn more about how we work to eliminate a wide variety of bird conflicts in commercial, residential, and agricultural settings.

Contact us to learn more about our solutions for preventing window collisions