External Window Decals More Effective in Reducing Bird Strikes

A recent study from William & Mary’s Institute for Integrative Conservation reveals that decals placed on the outside of windows are the only effective way to reduce bird strikes. This is a significant concern for bird enthusiasts and conservationists, who advocate for applying noticeable films, patterns, and decals on window surfaces to alert birds of the glass.

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The study, published in PeerJ Life & Environment, is the first experimental study to compare the effectiveness of two distinct window films when applied to either the internal or external surface of double-glazed windows. The research team tested two window film products: BirdShades and Haverkamp. They found consistent evidence that when applied to the external surface of windows, the films resulted in reduced likelihood of collision. However, neither product was effective when the films were applied to the internal surface of windows.

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Dr. John P. Swaddle and his team of students conducted the study through controlled aviary flight trials using zebra finches. A fine mist net in front of the windows prevented actual bird collision during the tests. The results demonstrate the importance of installing these products on the exterior surfaces of windows to maximize their protective benefits and reduce the risk of daytime window collision.

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“Many people want to reduce bird-window collisions, which kill hundreds of millions of birds each year,” says Dr. Swaddle. “There are many decals and window films available, but we have shown that people must apply them to the external surface of their windows to benefit the birds.”

This research highlights the importance of taking action to protect birds from window collisions and emphasizes the need for future research in this field. By installing window decals on the outside of windows, individuals can play their part in helping to reduce bird mortality and protect these beautiful creatures for future generations to enjoy.

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