Birds and Windows

Window strikes are among the top three human-related cause of bird deaths, along with cats and habitat destruction. Up to one billion birds die each year in the United States due to collisions with windows and research shows that 54-76 percent of window collisions are fatal.

Bird imprint left on a window after a collision.

What To Do If A Bird Strikes Your Window

Not all strikes are fatal. Sometimes a bird may be temporarily stunned. Portland Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center recommends placing the bird in a small box lined with a towel and place the box in a warm, dark, quiet place. Check the bird in one hour – beware, the bird may be much more active. If the bird is alert, active and able to fly, release it immediately. If the bird is still having trouble, bring it to the Wildlife Care Center or a wildlife rehabilitation facility near you.

The Wildlife Care Center can be reached at 503-292-0304.

Why Do Birds Hit Windows?

  1. Birds do not perceive windows as a barrier. They see reflections in glass as open space and fly into it full-speed.
  2. Male birds defending territories during mating season. They perceive their own reflection in glass as a competing male, and attack it repeatedly in an attempt to drive the intruder off. Robins and Flickers commonly exhibit this kind of behavior.
  3. Disorientation due to disease and intoxication from eating fermented berries are less common causes of windows strikes.