Collisions Can Be Prevented
Bird collisions happen any time of day and year, whether with high-rises in Center City or low-rise windows in suburban areas in and around the City. These collisions can be prevented with a variety of solutions, including some simple and inexpensive ones. Whether you are a homeowner, tenant, student, business leader, advocate or decision maker, you can take part in creating solutions to help birds.
Bird Safe Philly organizations are working to engage residents, businesses, schools, and other organizations in learning more about the issue of collisions and the variety of ways we can prevent them. Explore the resources below, and find out ways you can help us save birds.
Collisions occur when birds try to fly through windows that are invisible or transparent to them or when they fly into windows and surfaces reflecting the surrounding landscape. This occurs during the day and at night. Explore some collision prevention solutions and examples of these solutions installed in and around Philadelphia below.
Apply Dense Patterns on Glass Surface
Dense patterns, including stripes and dots, can be placed on the outer glass surface. Commercial products designed are available, or you can create solutions using craft paper, tape, stickers, paint, and markers designed to be used on glass.
Make the Glass Appear Opaque
Covering the outer glass surface with paint, perforated vinyl film or other materials that will make the glass appear opaque, helping to reduce reflectivity and transparency.
Use Physical Barriers
Place physical barriers like screens, netting, hanging cords, or scrims in front of the glass. As long as the physical barriers do not contain open spaces that are larger than 2 x 2 inches, or the hanging cords are spaced no wider than 4 inches apart, they can effectively discourage most birds from trying to fly through them into the glass.
When considering new construction and renovations, a number of bird-friendly glass options are available, including acid-etched glass, glass with ultraviolet patterns, fritted glass, or glass with printed patterns.
Many collisions are caused by artificial light at night, which can attract birds migrating at night to buildings and other collision causing structures. Explore some ways you can reduce lighting below and learn more about our Lights Out Philly Program.
Reduce Amount and Intensity of Lights
By reducing the intensity of outdoor lights or, preferably, turning them off completely at night, fewer birds will be attracted and fewer collisions will occur. Turning off internal lights at night or closing shades, curtains, or blinds will also prevent birds from being able to see through windows at night and then try to fly through them.
Use Blue or Green Lighting
White, red, and yellow light attracts birds migrating at night much more than blue or green light. Making external lighting blue or green at night should attract fewer migrating birds and lead to fewer collisions.
Shorten the Duration
Lights that remain on continuously attract birds migrating at night. Installing motion sensors for exterior or security lights and for beacon lights, switch to lights that blink continuously or continuously cycle on and off.
Shield or Direct Lights Downward
Lighting that is directed upward can be easily seen by and attracts birds migrating at night. Directing external lighting downward or shielding light fixtures to prevent light from spilling upward should attract fewer migrating birds and lead to fewer collisions.
Be An Advocate
Help us spread the word about bird collisions and the solutions that can prevent them from happening. Talk to your community members about the simple steps they can take to reduce lights and make their windows bird-friendly. Encourage the adoption of standards that can help create a more Bird-safe Philly.