A University of Alberta researcher has published a new study on how to reduce bird-window collisions in residential areas.
Justine Kummer, the study’s author, said she wanted to “find ways that homeowners can keep having birds in their yards, keep feeding them, keep attracting them but hopefully reduce the collision risk at their homes.”
More than 1,300 people participated in the study — mostly from Canada, and a few from abroad.
“Most people can relate to it in some way. They’ve had a bird hit their window or heard a story about a bird hitting their neighbour’s window,” Kummer said.
“The main findings of the study were things that make sense.”
“Those houses that have bird feeders, lots of vegetation like trees, shrubs, flowers in their yards are the houses that are having the most collisions,” Kummer added.
Kummer’s study made the following recommendations:
- Move bird feeders closer to windows. “If the bird is frightened or leaves quickly, it won’t have enough speed to do damage to itself.”
- Close blinds to cut down the reflection of vegetation in the window.
- Use bird window decals. “The problem with decals is people aren’t putting enough on the window; you essentially have to cover the window. People don’t want to put big black birds on their window, so people are getting around this by using UV decals that are relatively clear to humans, but for birds it reflects light and they can better see that there is a surface there.”
Study participant Peggy Mair hopes these tips will help reduce crashes in her yard — she’s witnessed more than she’d like.
After participating in the study Mair has found that she is “more aware of the impact that we have on wildlife and the things that we do innocently that may be detrimental” to birds who call her back yard home.
For Kummer, she hopes the study will help spread awareness. “I liked having results that I can tell homeowners about and actually make a difference.”