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Windows are everywhere – in our houses, cottages, condos, apartments, vehicles, even balconies. Unfortunately, birds that make their homes in meadows, woods or wetlands have no concept of glass. This is especially true for birds migrating during spring and fall. For them, glass can be deadly.

Most people have experienced the heartbreaking thud of a bird hitting a window. Environment Canada biologists have concluded that collisions with windows on small buildings are a leading cause of bird deaths, taking millions of lives every year.


You can help reduce or even eliminate bird/window collisions at your home with attractive, inexpensive and easy-to-install window treatments. The key is to provide birds with the visual cues they need to alert them to the presence of glass. Unfortunately, many products touted to prevent collisions are marginally effective at best.

Products that DO NOT prevent bird-window collisions

For decades, it has been the common misconception that one hawk silhouette or a few window decals would prevent birds from hitting windows. FLAP Canada is striving to re-educate homeowners to apply collision-deterrent products that work and save untold numbers of birds’ lives.

Hawk Silhouettes: A hawk-shaped window decal will not frighten birds. The shape of a window decal is inconsequential in bird/window collision prevention. It’s the use of multiple window decals, of any shape, on the outside of a window that helps make glass visible to birds.

Single Window Decals: The use of a single decal or a few decals affixed to a window will not deter birds. Unless the bird is headed for that spot it will not be alerted to danger. Only if 80% of the window is uniformly covered, as shown below, will birds see the entire pane of glass and stay safe.

Important Note: The illustration on the left of an effective application of window decals may seem exaggerated, but it is the only way to stop collisions using silhouettes or decals. Completely covering your window in this fashion is neither practical, desirable nor cost-effective in most cases. For more effective products, including do-it-yourself, scroll to the bottom of the page.


It is important to make the distinction between a bird-collision deterrent and a bird repellent. This is the difference between bird conservation and bird control. The following products are designed for pest control purposes and rarely, if ever, prevent window collisions.

Noise Deterrents: Common noise deterrents include high-frequency ultrasound, noise cannons and the recorded distress calls of various species of birds. In urban settings, these devices are used to deter colonies of resident species like pigeons and starlings from public areas. In rural settings, these products are used in agriculture to prevent birds from destroying crops. They were not intended to prevent bird/window collisions.

Plastic Owl

Plastic Owls: Birds learn quickly that an inanimate owl is not a threat. They may even use it as a perch regardless of how often it is moved around.

Wind Socks

Helikites and Wind Socks: like the plastic owl, these products are intended to act as scarecrows but they do not help prevent bird collisions.

Magnetic Fields: Some products emit a magnetic field intended to disrupt a bird’s geomagnetic orientation and encourage them to avoid an area. They do not prevent window strikes.

Terror Eyes: Balloons with large menacing-looking eyes on them are meant to scare unwanted resident birds away from an area not prevent window collisions. In fact, this technique can result in flushing birds toward reflection of what can be seen a cover

CLICK HERE to learn about bird deterrent products that DO work.

CLICK HERE to learn about evolving bird deterrent technologies.

CLICK HERE to learn about 'Do It Yourself" bird deterrent techniques.

CLICK HERE to learn about bird deterrent techniques for new construction.

If you have questions or comments or need help with a unique bird/window collision problem, contact us at 416-366-3527(FLAP) or email We will be happy to help.

Make a donation to FLAP Canada and support bird-conservation efforts. Donors receive two issues a year of our newsletter, Touching Down, and periodic bulletins about our rescue and research work on behalf of birds.