Birds need our help. The number of birds flying into windows is at a crisis level. We must find a way to make it safer for birds to fly and protect birds in cities. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to stop birds from flying into windows.

Stop birds from flying into windows, like this poor bird who lays on pavement
You can stop birds from flying into windows using internal and external window solutions.

To stop birds from flying into windows, use external solutions like window shutters, shades, awnings, year-round screens, netting, tempera paint, and bird tape.

Use decals, window film, shades, curtains, and fritted, etched, or UV-coated glass for internal solutions. Place feeders away from windows, and use objects that keep birds away from glass.

Many of the solutions to stop birds from flying into windows were designed to make windows more visible to birds. I have used a few of these solutions and can vouch for them! If you want to learn more about how to stop birds from flying into windows, read on.

You can also first look at this YouTube video about research on how we can stop birds from crashing into windows.

Watch to learn about the research being done on how to stop birds from flying into windows

How To Stop Birds From Flying Into Windows: External Solutions

1. Use External Shutters To Cover Your Windows

Shutters that close and completely hide windows will eliminate the glass reflection problem and stop birds from crashing into windows.

These types of shutters are more prevalent in coastal areas due to the threat of tropical storms. They are a relatively expensive solution, so not all homeowners will want to invest in them.

These Timberlane exterior shutters are a tad pricey, but I used them on a previous home when I lived in Connecticut and loved them.

2. Install External Shades or Window Awnings

External shades, or window awnings installed above windows, are another effective way to decrease glass reflection and help stop birds from flying into windows.

Like external shutters, window awnings are a somewhat expensive solution. However, many awnings are quite attractive (I particularly like black and white striped ones and used these on a previous house as well).

Window awning over door
Window awnings will keep birds from flying into windows

In addition, they don’t have to be installed over all windows. They are often installed above just one or two windows that face the backyard. Installing just a few awnings will significantly cut down on their expense.

3. Purchase Window Screens and Keep Them On Year Round

Using window screens is another effective way to decrease glass reflection, which will stop birds from flying into windows. Many homeowners with double-hung windows have window screens on many, if not all, of their windows.

In the warmer months, window screens allow you to open the windows to let the fresh air in while still keeping the bugs out.

However, many homeowners will remove the screens when the weather cools down. Consider leaving the screens on all year round (I confess I don’t do this – I like the look of clear glass too much!).

4. Add Netting to the Outside of the Windows

This solution is new to me, and I only discovered it while researching this topic. Each window net is attached 3 inches or more from the window glass and acts like a tiny bird trampoline.

window netting stops birds from flying into windows
Window netting will stop birds from flying into windows.

The netting prevents birds from colliding with windows by gently bouncing them away and is a lower-cost solution than window screens.

5. Apply Tempera Paint to the Outside of the Windows

Tempera paint is a water-based, non-toxic decorative paint that is safe for children’s projects.

To make windows visible to birds, the paint can be applied to the outside of the windows in various patterns using stencils or even just a brush or sponge.

I watched a crafty friend use this method, and it worked great!


6. Place Bird Feeders and Bird Baths a Safe Distance From Windows

If a feeder or bath is within 3 feet of a window, a departing bird that flies towards the window will not be able to build up enough speed to harm himself.

If a feeder or bath is more than 30 feet from a window, a departing bird will have plenty of time and space to clear the house so he doesn’t crash into it.

Some of the best small feeders for both birds and bird lovers are those that affix to windows via suction cups. They are only inches away from the glass.

Bird standing in bird feeder that is attached to window via suction cups
Bird standing in bird feeder that is attached to the window via suction cups

7. Place Bird Deflectors Like Wind Chimes, Wind spinners, and Pinwheels Near Windows

Birds will often stay away from windows that are adjacent to bird deflectors, like colorful wind spinners and pinwheels. Birds see the spinning motion of these items and avoid the area altogether.

The wind spinners and pinwheels come in all price ranges and sizes – here is a 79″ large and more expensive one that I like, as well as a 2″ smaller mid-priced one with an owl design in the center.

wind spinner stops birds from crashing into windows
Wind spinners stop birds from crashing into windows

I love this 16″ peacock spinner as well – Make sure to check out the accompanying video (after I finish writing this article, I think I will get one of these!). Here are some color pinwheels that are very affordable.

Wind chimes will initially keep birds away since the sound will scare them off. However, birds may get used to the sound over time, so the chimes will cease acting as a deterrent.

8. Apply Bird Tape Strips To Windows

When bird tape – sometimes called bird paint tape – is applied to the exterior of a window, it is typically applied in a row pattern such that the gaps between the strips are no bigger than 4”.

Narrow gaps will discourage birds from flying between the tape.

The tape also cuts down on glass reflections. The tape contains tiny holes so that exterior light can still pass through to the interior of a home or office.

How To Stop Birds From Flying Into Windows: Internal Solutions

9. Place Window Decals on Interior Window Surfaces

There are special window decals to help stop birds from flying into windows. These decorative decals reflect ultraviolet sunlight – the reflected light is easily detected by birds due to their superior vision.

The birds will then avoid the glass. Humans will not be able to see the reflected light.

10. Install Interior Window Treatments Like Blinds and Curtains

Vertical blinds, curtains, and window shades will definitely stop birds from flying into windows.

The vertical blinds will create narrow vertical gaps – even if birds see those gaps as clear flight paths, the narrow gap widths will appear too small for them to fly through.

Closed curtains or shades can also be effective since birds can detect their presence and see them as barriers. However, closed curtains will still not reduce reflection on window exteriors.

In addition, most people (myself included) don’t want to keep their curtains drawn for all or even part of the day.

11. Use One-way Transparent Window Film On Interior Window Surfaces

This specialty film makes the window appear solid to a bird. However, people looking through the window from the inside will be able to see out.

Just keep in mind that the amount of light that comes into the room will decrease.

12. Turn off Inside And Non-Essential Exterior Lighting at Night

Turning off the lights at night is very helpful to migrating birds who navigate via starlight. The lights of homes and buildings distract and attract birds, often resulting in injury or death.

I use this method during spring migration since my house has a lot of windows.

13. Replace Plane Window Glass With Fritted Glass

Both humans and birds can detect fritted glass as it contains a small yet obvious and uniform pattern.

Fritted glass in office building
This fritted glass from Dip-Tech looks great.

Fritted glass does a great job of deterring bird strikes during the day, but some people don’t like it since it obstructs the exterior view from the inside.

I like the look of fritted glass on modern office buildings.

14. Replace Plain Window Glass With Etched Glass

Like fritted glass, this treatment also effectively cuts down on bird strikes. It is also less translucent, so many prefer it to fritted glass.

15. Consider Replacing Windows With UV-Coated Glass

Glass that is UV-coated is completely invisible to humans while still being visible to some birds. Birds who see in the UV spectrum can perceive the coatings and may interpret them as a barrier.

Government And Grass Roots Efforts to Stop Birds From Flying Into Windows

Awareness of bird mortality caused by birds flying into windows has significantly grown. Many bird crashes occur when migrating birds fly over large cities with tall skyscrapers.

Birds flying over city at night during migration
Migrating birds flying over a city at night

Most migrating birds fly at night and navigate via starlight. They are often distracted by the artificial light from tall buildings and fly towards them.

This problem is even worse when it is stormy since birds will lower their cruising altitude to fly under the weather. The lower the birds fly, the more likely they are to crash into the windows of a building.

“Lights Out” Policies Help Keep Migrating Birds Safe

Cities use weather radar tools to predict stormy weather. They also use migration data to track the movement of migrating birds.

When many migrating birds are predicted to fly over a city during bad weather, cities will ask the owners of buildings and private homes to turn their lights off at night.

The “Lights Out For Migrating Birds” movement is growing and becoming more popular amongst city dwellers and business owners.

Law, Programs, and Building Codes Help Protect Birds

New York City recently passed a bill requiring city building owners to turn off their lights in the evening during the peak migratory seasons. These types of programs are being used in several U.S. cities.

In addition, in January 2022, a law was passed requiring architects designing new New York City buildings to use bird-friendly designs.

How To Learn More About Birds Crashing Into Windows

There has been an exciting growth of interactive online tools and websites focusing on migration, bird window crash predictions, and light pollution. I have included a few of my favorites below.

These tools and websites are beautifully designed and so much fun to use. They make learning especially enjoyable, and playing for hours is easy.

(The images below are all truncated screen grabs from the websites.):

  1. Bird Migration Explorer
Screen shot from the application bird migration explorer

Explore the fascinating world of bird migration via beautiful animations. Learn about birds that fly above your home and office, view conservation challenges maps… and so much more.

2. Birdcast

Select a date and region, and watch gorgeous animated bird migration maps

3. eBird Migration Maps and Tools

Beautiful and educational

4. The International Dark-Sky Association

Join the Dark Sky Movement!

5. Flap Canada

How to protect the birds you love

Final Words on How To Stop Birds From Flying Into Windows

Bird deaths that have resulted from birds flying into windows are at an all-time high. It is absolutely tragic. However, we can do so many things to help stop birds from flying into windows.

If you live in a house with many windows and have seen birds crashing into your windows, you can try multiple external and internal solutions. They are available at different prices, so there is something for everyone.

If you live in a city where bird crashes regularly occur due to artificial building lights, get involved with your local Audubon society to see how you can help. In addition, you can join organizations like the International Dark Sky Association, Lights Out For Migrating Birds, and FLAP Canada.


What are the best window decals to prevent bird strikes?

The best window decals reflect ultraviolet sunlight.

Birds can see the reflected light of window glass due to their superior vision and will then avoid the glass.

Fortunately, humans will not be able to see the reflected light.

These decorative decals reflect ultraviolet sunlight and should deter birds from crashing into your windows.

What are the best bird deflectors for windows?

Birds often avoid windows adjacent to bird deflectors, like colorful wind spinners, pinwheels, and wind chimes.

Birds see the spinning motion of these items or their sounds and stay away.

I like this 79″ wind spinner and this smaller one with an owl design in its center.

This 16″ peacock spinner is also beautiful and effective. You can also purchase affordable color pinwheels, as well as these great wind chimes.

What is the best bird proof window film?

Bird-proof window film will make a window appear solid to a bird.

However, people looking through the window from the inside will still be able to see out, though the amount of light that enters the room will decrease slightly.

I like this specialty bird-proof window film.

Why do bluebirds attack windows?

Many birds who see their reflection in a window will interpret it as a rival and try to attack it.

However, bluebirds are especially likely to do this.

This is because bluebirds are extremely territorial, especially the ones in my state of North Carolina!

What is the best window bird tape?

Window bird tape comes in various shapes and sizes.

You can create a row pattern with the tape, with no more than 4″ between the rows.

Birds will look at the gaps between the rows and determine they are too small to fly through!

I know a few people who have used this bird tape and recommend it.