(BEDFORD) – The U.S. Forest Service recently implemented measures to prevent birds from colliding with glass windows on their Bedford office building. According to the American Bird Conservancy, glass collisions are a big problem for birds, as up to a billion die as a result of them in the United States each year.
You may be wondering why this is so prevalent. Think of it this way, most glass surfaces are reflective, at least at certain times of the day. If a glass window is reflecting the surrounding landscape of grass, trees or sky, a bird sees it as such and attempts to fly into the natural looking space. What results is generally a head-on collision, most often resulting in death or severe injury to the bird.
With birds migrating north to their breeding grounds throughout the spring, there is an increased risk of birds striking glass. Forest Service staff have documented this occurrence and are taking steps to mitigate it. After researching various prevention methods, the Green Team (a group of staff tasked with implementing sustainability measures) decided that bird tape would be the best long term solution. The American Bird Conservancy has a webpage devoted to this issue, including data on products they have tested, as well as a variety of inexpensive do it yourself methods.
Bird tape was recently applied to the Hoosier National Forest office windows in Bedford to prevent bird collisions.
Bird tape is applied to the outside of the window and placed either vertically or horizontally. Research has shown that birds tend to not attempt to fly through open spaces that are less than 4 inches between vertical strips, and no more than 2 inches between horizontal strips.
Other prevention methods include screens, decals, strings, cords, paint, netting, and shutters. In addition, placement of bird feeders can also be a factor and should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
While no method is 100 percent effective, individuals can all take action to reduce the number of birds dying as a result of flying into the windows of our homes and businesses.