ETA: So @justsavebirds on Twitter gave me some excellent additional information/corrections to what I have here:

  • Windowstruck birds should be taken directly to rehab without delay, as they can receive critical medical treatment that could increase their likelihood of survival
  • Put feeders between 0 and 3 feet from windows; make sure that the glass still has its covering/film.
  • High rise building light accounts for more mortality than I had indicated here. We need to be turning off as many extraneous lights as possible at night.
  • While nighttime window strikes are a big issue, it’s really important to get bird film on your windows to prevent those daytime strikes! And while we’re on the subject of things you can do to protect birds around your house, cat predation is an even bigger cause of bird mortality, so keep those kitties inside or let them outside in a catio or on a leash and harness.

Window strikes may not be as big a problem as habitat loss, but what pushes a lot of species to the brink of extinction is assaults from all sides. Birds are dealing with habitat loss, cat predation, competition with invasive species, pesticides, lead poisoning, poaching, and window strikes, among many other pressures. Any one of them would be enough to be a big problem, but all of them together? It’s a receipt for the loss of entire species.

Thankfully window strikes are one of the (relatively) easier ones to fix. And these small actions can make a huge difference to migrating birds, as well as those that hang around during the day. Every bird that survives is another that can potentially contribute to the next generation of that species; every bird lost prematurely is a permanent loss to the gene pool. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to do whatever we can to help them?

Species portrayed: Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius), blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata), human (Homo sapiens), Pacific wren (Troglodytes pacificus)