Creating a Safe Environment for our Birds
Posted on February 4, 2018 by Amy Lenzo
This piece was submitted by “Sally Writes” after reading a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggesting that humans are pushing the 6th great extinction. She wrote, “Part of this is overpopulation and overconsumption, but part is accidental. One area where we’re harming the environment is with our windows, which kill millions of birds each year. As the Content Manager for a small window cleaning service, I felt it important we cover this topic.”
Birds, like all other creatures on this planet, are essential to the natural balance of the ecosystem. They pollinate our plants to enable fertilization and reproduction. They give trees the chance to colonize new areas by assuming an active role in successful seed dispersal and regeneration. They transport the nutrients found in soil from one place to another and play a hugely important role in agricultural systems by regulating the number of pests.
We need birds in order to survive because the Earth needs birds to keep everything in balance, which is why it’s important to create a safe environment for them to live in. At present, up to 1,000,000,000 birds die every year in the United States. Their deaths are the result of sudden collisions with the windows that we install on our skyscrapers and houses. Some die instantly and others later perish from damage caused to the brain or from internal bleeding.
The greatest fear is that a number of species, including the Wood Thrush, Painted Bunting, Warbler, Kentucky Warbler and the Worm-eating Warbler, are in danger of becoming extinct unless we do something about the current situation. Luckily, there are a great number of changes we can make to our windows to help keep our birds safe.
1. We can install Angled Glass, Fritted Glass, Etched or Sandblasted Glass, or even UV-reflective Glass.
2. We can hang decals and wind chimes in front of our windows.
3. We can use external shutters, like Venetian blinds.
4. We can try tape strips, year-round bug screens and even whitewash unused windows.
For more detailed advice on what we can do to protect our birds from the hazards of windows, please take the time to read the following guide on bird and window safety.