Bird Watcher's General Store

Window Feeders May Deter Window Crashes
09/22/00


Dear Bird Folks,

I want to put one of those bird feeders on my windowsill that stick onto the glass with suction cups. My husband is concerned that attracting birds to our window will cause the birds to crash into the glass and hurt themselves. Are those feeders that stick to the window safe?

- Jean, Dennisport

Hi Jean,

Yup, those feeders are safe, your husband is wrong again. In fact, they may even be helpful. The two most common reasons birds collide with our windows are to escape predators or because they are unfamiliar with the area. When the light hits our windows at just the right angle, the windows become more like mirrors than clear windows. Migrating birds are fooled by the reflections and hit the windows, thinking they are flying into trees. A feeder that is attached to the middle of your window will help break up that reflection and alert the birds to glass.

A feeder that sits a few feet away from the window is more likely to cause more trouble than one that is stuck to the window. Feeder birds are often panicked by predators and fly quickly for shelter. A feeder that is a short distance away allows the birds to build up speed when panicked and hit our windows with self-damaging force. But a feeder that is against the window already turns the birds away from the glass when they are panicked.

So Jean, tell your husband that window feeders are safe to use. And if he still doesn't like the idea, tell him that you can't decide if you want a new feeder or a new car and let him make the call.



Artwork by Catherine Clark


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