Tips for Reducing Window Strikes at Home

Nearly half of all window strikes happen at residential houses, which is why it’s so important for renters and homeowners to take steps to make their homes bird safe. See below for tips that fit every budget, from DIY solutions for your yard and windows to installing professional screens and films.

For those who live in the greater Portland Metro area, we also encourage you to sign up for our Backyard Habitat Certification Program to receive expert advice on landscaping with native plants and recommendations for minimizing bird strikes. You can also sign up to Take the Pledge to go Lights Out to help reduce the impacts of light pollution on nesting and migrating birds, other wildlife, and on human health.

What Happens When a Bird Hits a Window?

Western Tanager receives exam at Bird Alliance of Oregon’s Wildlife Care Center after hitting a window.

Naturescaping Approaches

  • Move bird feeders & baths far away from (>30 feet) or close to (<3 feet) windows
  • Move large houseplants away from windows where strikes are common
  • Visit the Backyard Habitat Certification Program for more information on naturescaping

Decals and Window Film

Cords, Netting and Screens

DIY Solutions

Lighting Solutions

  • Take the pledge to go Lights Out
  • Turn off unnecessary lights overnight every night, or during migration seasons: mid-March through early June and late August through mid-November
  • Ensure that all exterior lighting is properly shielded and aimed down
  • If you’re converting exterior lamps to LED, choose a warm light LED (under 3,000 Kelvins)
  • Make sure you’re not over-lighting: carefully choose the wattage of your exterior lamps
  • Switch to motion sensor lighting
  • Check out this wildlife friendly lighting that meets the International Dark-sky Association’s Fixture Seal of Approval

For more detailed BirdSafe resources and those geared specifically toward professionals, check out our Toolkit.

What to Do if a Bird Hits Your Window

If a bird hits your window, observe it before handling. Some strike victims recover after initially being stunned. If a stunned bird is in imminent danger (i.e., a lurking cat), place it in a box and set it in a safe and quiet place. Check the bird in one hour. If it is alert, active and able to fly, release it immediately. If the bird is still having trouble, bring it to the Wildlife Care Center, 5151 NW Cornell Road (open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, 503-292-0304).