How to prevent birds from hitting windows
One possible explanation for why birds fly into windows is that they see a reflection of the outdoors, thinking they can fly right through. (When looking at the window reflections in these pictures, it's pretty obvious to see how this could happen.)
Another explanation is that, during mating season, birds see their reflection as a competitor that has to be fought off.
And if you're considering putting up bird feeders, waterers or bird houses, you're increasing the chances of bird-window collisions.
At our house, we'd had several casualties from birds flying into our window, so something had to be done. The challenges were that we have very limited carpentry skills, couldn't invest a lot of money, and didn't want to obstruct our view from inside the home.
Since most of our windows don't open, they can't accommodate screens. So, here's a photo of what we decided on:
At Lowes, we purchased:
• 1 roll of 7'x100' wildlife netting ($13)
• 10-pack of 6' long by 1 1/2" wide lath strips ($9/pack)
• a pack of 9/16" wood staples ($3)
• 6 1" spring clamps ($11)
• a tube of liquid nails (optional)
• a brick for each corner of netting
Since this row of windows measures 16' wide by 6' high, we cut an 18' strip of the 7' wide netting and spread it out on the deck. To add stability to the top of the netting, we aligned 3 pairs of lathing along both the top and bottom of the netting, with the netting sandwiched between. The lath strips were then stapled together with dabs of Liquid Nails to keep the slats together.
We clamped the top of the netting onto our gutters with the spring clamps and tied each of the bottom corners of the net to a brick (to prevent the netting from blowing up onto the roof during heavy winds.)
Photo on the right: We initially used the wood lath strips to lightly hold down the netting -- since this was more attractive than tying the net to brick anchors. Unfortunately, the lathing would bang against the house in high winds and still end up on the roof. And, while small screw-type anchors would be more attractive than the bricks, I'm afraid people would trip over the anchors and walk into the nearly unnoticeable netting.
So far, we've had no more bird collisions. And the netting is virtually invisible from inside our house.
If you have suggestions on how we could improve upon our efforts to prevent birds from flying into the windows, please share them in the feedback section below.