Why Birds Can’t See Glass? Why Birds Fly Into Glass?

People walk into glass doors and walls frequently. There’s a lot of clips of people making this blunder. And it makes sense: Glass is designed to be invisible. However, birds as well fly into windows all the time. An estimated six hundred thousand birds per year are killed in the US by crashes with widows in our glassy cities.

Glass is the second largest human-related bird killer, second only to habitat destruction however, can’t bird see the glass? Why birds can’t see glass? Is it the same reason why we can’t see glass? Here are the answers.

The Short Answer…

Despite birds sharp eyesight, birds cannot see glass due to its transparency, sense of resistance and when they see reflected landscape, they assume its a tunnel to the other side flying into it at full speed. By observing birds, scientists noticed that birds mostly strike windows when there’s a line of sight all the way through the building, with windows on two walls that appear to make a tunnel.

Birds also strike all reflective surfaces as if they’re flying toward a reflected landscape.

Why Do Birds Fly Into Glass?

Birds fly everywhere either for food like rice , chia seeds, cucumber and even cheese and popcorn or shelter, however, why do birds fly into windows or glass?

While we created windows for entering lighting and keeping the cold air, rainwater, and bad weather from coming inside. That perception doesn’t exist for birds and there’s nothing like windows, glass or mirrors for birds.

However, there are many things which birds do not know but still, they respect and pay attention to it as long as they can see. However, in case of windows, most buildings windows are super clean and transparent and have no sign of resistance except a reflection that pretends to be a landscape. That makes birds tend to perceive that what exists behind the windows is the natural environment they see without realizing the glass presence. 

Speaking of reflections, sometimes you’ll see a bird repeatedly attacking a window. That’s just the bird seeing its reflection as a rival bird and trying to fight it off. Yes, not only they cannot recognize themselves but they also don’t know about windows, glass or mirror.

What Happens When Birds Hit Glass?

Assuming there is no resistance, birds fly at full speed without seeing glass in front of them. When birds hit the glass windows, they usually die.

Despite their light and flexible skeleton which they fly with, bird will often die when they hit glass. Though they might not die immediately and fly away but eventually after some time they will die due to internal bleeding and bruising.

When Do Birds Hit Glass?

Birds often hit glass when they see food like cranberries or an empty place for making their nest. That includes rooms that are covered with glass. Whether it is park or room, birds may appear suddenly, however, if they don’t see the window, they will often hit it. Windows with dark frames are easy for birds to find out.

Do Glass Break When Birds Hit?

Depending on the speed and size of the bird, chances are glass could break when the bird hit with full speed. But that’s not the only factor in play and things like the thickness of the window and the angle the bird crush on the glass and the glass hardness also matters in breaking.

Modern two-layer glass windows are more durable than the older single glass windows. You may rarely see a modern window break due to a bird hit but with the older ones, it’s a major possibility.

Is There A Glass That Is Bird-Safe?

Lately, many companies produce bird-safe glasses. This kind of glass is usually thicker than the others and follows the 2×4 rule. That means all glass parts are divided with wooden frames 2 inches high and four inches long. Usually, birds estimate that they cannot penetrate any place with smaller dimensions than the 2×4 glass window. That way you can have a bird-safe glass and be sure to reduce fatal collisions.

How To Make Your Glass Visible to Birds?

The best way to make glass visible to birds would be to add colour to it. People believe that color has nothing to do with glass recognition but this is not the case with birds. Some birds are less attracted by colours. That’s why the small glasses in medieval churches are all colored to ensure that birds would never have to collide in them.

  • Another way to make glass visible to birds would be to ban their access. You can easily install an iron net outside your window frames and let it be there all year round. That movement could make birds fly over your windows, even sitting on the netting without trying to penetrate the glass.

  • You may also make glass visible by installing curtains on your windows. The internal curtains block the light intrusion to the inside of your room. That’s how you can ban the internal sight to your room to birds, and they can finally realize that there is a glass on the window separating their world from yours.

The ancient solution of the straw man outside your glass windows could help you have fewer accidents with birds’ collisions on your glass surfaces. These straw men threaten birds and discourage them from coming close to your place, and that means they could keep them away from your glass surfaces and let them be safe and sound.

Are Birds Able to See Color Glass?

As mentioned above, birds can see colour glass and that’s why it’s a premium solution to reduce the bird collisions incidents. However, the production of coloured glass is a lot more limited than the one of transparent and colourless ones.

You need to be sure about the quality, thickness, and transparency of the colour glasses and that’s why you should be ready to give the right details to the manufacturers. Birds identify colour glasses a lot more than normal one.

As a result, there is no chance they will collide with such coloured glass no matter what is the visibility of your inside rooms. 

How To Prevent Birds From Hitting Your Windows?

There are multiple solutions to apply to prevent birds from hitting the glass on your windows. Here is a list of these methods that are all easy to apply to your windows and seem to be pretty effective:

  • Apply Some Net Tape for Birds

Apply some net tape around the window frame, and it can obstruct birds from colliding with the glass of your windows.

  • Install One-Way Transparent Film

That film needs a precise and careful application to the window glasses. It manages to stop the sunlight and other forms of light from going through the window glass. As a result, birds are less likely to come and hit your windows because, simply, they cannot see anything inside.

  • Get Some Sticky Strips

These sticky strips are easy to buy and very affordable. They come in multiple colors and give the birds a real sign that they cannot penetrate behind the window. Their only disadvantage is that they make your visibility outside a lot more difficult.

  • Try Some Netting For Insects

In this aspect, mosquito netting is the best you can use to discourage birds from hitting your windows. Even if they finally hit the netting, they will not be fatally wounded.

If for some reason you want to prevent birds at all, here’s how to do it.

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