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'Tis the Season for Drunk Birds Flying Into Windows

Did you know up to a billion birds die due to glass collisions annually in the United States? We’ve all experienced the shock of hearing a bird hit a window and rushing to check if the bird was okay. Birds are more likely to fly into windows during this time of year for two interesting reasons.

Around this time of the year, much of the fruit on trees and on the ground is fermenting. When birds consume fermented fruit, it has similar effects of a human drinking alcohol. Another factor that increases the likelihood of bird versus window collisions is the glare on the window created by the sun hitting windows at lower points. Combine migrating birds flying after consuming fermented fruit and the reflection of trees on glass windows, and the result can be a stunned or severely injured bird.

Nashville Zoo’s Bird keeper, Sean Ployd, shared some tips on how you can prevent birds from flying into your windows at home:

  • Follow the 3 or 30 foot rule for placement of bird feeders from windows. A bird feeder placed between 3 and 30 feet from a window can cause a bird flying off the feeder to build up enough momentum to cause serious injury if it hits the window.  We recommend placing a feeder closer than 3-feet for optimal bird safety.  It also allows for great bird watching.
  • Close blinds or curtains to help break the illusion windows create. Another deterrent is to place a window ornament - even something as easy as an old CD on a string - in your south facing windows. You can also place fun holiday window clings on the window, it’s festive and functional!
  •  If you have a serious issue, think about purchasing transparent bird-tape. You can find this online or at a local hardware store that sells adhesive privacy screens for windows.
  • Lastly, and my favorite, don’t clean those windows. Spotless, streak-free windows are dangerous! The dirtier the better to prevent birds from flying into your windows.

The staff at Nashville Zoo is taking several of the precautions mentioned above and are keeping an eye out for injured birds who hit glass around the Zoo. We will be helping as many birds as possible to make a full and speedy recovery. We will also be recording species and number of birds reported in order to help us track bird strike trends (especially those of migratory birds) at the Zoo.

To learn more above bird glass collisions and how to prevent them at home, read this article.

Posted by Nashville Zoo at 7:00 AM