How can I stop birds from pecking my windows?
Many backyard birders have asked this question after witnessing a bird continuously attacking their windows! At first, it’s a bit humorous, but then they don’t stop for hours and days at a time. While there’s no fool-proof method to stop birds from attacking the glass completely, there are numerous things you can try to stop them!
So why do birds attack windows anyways?
Birds attack and peck at windows because they’re incredibly territorial, especially during nesting season. What happens is that they see their reflection in a window and notice this other good-looking bird as an “intruder” and “threat”, and attack to scare it away.
Obviously, the “new” bird doesn’t go anywhere! So the bird just keeps repeatedly hitting your windows, which can be annoying and potentially dangerous to the bird.
Keep in mind that I’m focusing on birds attacking windows in this article. However, if your backyard friends are colliding at full speed, try these tips:
As you will see, most of the 11 tips below try to minimize the reflections on your window so the bird can’t see itself, which helps to cut down on territorial behavior.
#1. Place your feeders THIS far away from your home
Do you have birdhouses or feeders in your yard? If so, I’m sure you’ve seen birds get territorial and squabble with one another. Birds want to make sure they’re protecting their food source and their nestlings!
Unfortunately, these territorial behaviors can become a problem when the birds see their reflection in your windows.
Luckily, you can help prevent window attacks by making sure you don’t place your feeders or birdhouses too close to your home! Nesting birds prefer to stay close to their chicks, so it’s less likely that birds will get close enough to your windows to perceive a threat.
A good rule is to keep your feeding station or birdhouse over 30 feet (9 m) away from your house.
#2. Put decorative decals on the windows
Placing a bunch of stickers on your windows will help break up the reflection. And by not seeing their reflection, you can stop birds from pecking your windows!
Luckily, there are a lot of fancy decals that look nice. Here are just a few options on Amazon to get you started:
- Leaf-shaped window clings: The frosted-glass look of these window clings makes them perfect no matter what your style is. And there are multiple shapes, so you can pick the design you like best!
- Hummingbird window stickers: These window stickers are larger than most decals, so you’ll need less of them to fill up a problem window. They’re also a bit understated, which would be perfect for the front of a house.
- Colored butterfly window clings: Window Flakes makes a ton of great anti-collision window clings in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. They even have holiday-themed sets!
Just a word of warning: if you’re going to use this strategy, you need to cover most of the window. Otherwise, the birds will still be able to see themselves between the stickers.
#3. Keep the screens on your windows
Many people take the screens off their windows during winter since the insects are not around. But, these screens help break up the reflection in the window. So, instead of a clear reflection that looks like a rival bird, your backyard visitor will just see a distorted shape.
If you have a window that birds won’t stop attacking or pecking, try putting the screen back on to see if it helps. Even if you do get birds pecking at the screens, it’s a lot less noisy than having them tapping on the window (and not as hard)!
#4. Install window film to help reduce glare.
A variety of films are made to put on windows. For example, some people use them in their bathrooms for privacy. Others use it on windows that face the sun during the day to help keep a room cooler.
Regardless, these window films can help eliminate a reflection on a window and make it look opaque. And the best part is that you can still see through the window from the inside!
Here are a few different options:
- CollidEscape Window Film
- This stuff is specially made to help birds. In addition, it helps your air conditioning bill by not allowing in as much heat.
- Frosted Glass Window Film
- This window film is incredibly INEXPENSIVE and comes in various sizes. In addition to helping prevent bird deaths, it conserves heat, blocks out much of the sun, and provides privacy.
If you don’t like either of these two window films, keep searching online. There are dozens of decorative options and designs that look great and prevent birds from pecking your windows.
#5. Hang a piece of newspaper or cardboard in a problem window.
Since birds usually only attack windows during nesting season, this temporary solution might be all you need.
Tape a piece of newspaper or cardboard to the inside of the window to distort the reflection. And if that doesn’t work, then attach it to the outside, but be aware you may need to replace it when it rains.
Once the nesting season is over and the birds aren’t attacking, just remove your makeshift window shield!
#6. Attach tape to the outside of the window.
Once again, with this strategy, we are trying to get rid of the bird’s own reflection on the windows.
To help them out, attach strips of tape to the outside of a window in a grid pattern. It will need to be spaced close together to break up any reflection. With thin tape, a 1″ grid should effectively prevent birds from pecking your windows.
If you want the tape to look nicer, you can buy this CollidEscape Window tape. I like that you can see through it when looking out from the inside. In my opinion, it’s also less noticeable and more pleasing to the eye.
#7. Close curtains and blinds whenever possible.
When you leave the house or you’re not using a room, close the curtains or blinds! Even when you’re in a room, try to keep the blinds halfway closed.
Doing this will help break up and distort the reflection on the glass, so birds will be less likely to attack and peck.
Super simple, but super effective!
#8. Paint the windows!
If you want to have some fun, or are looking for a unique kids’ activity, try painting your problem windows with washable paint.
Window painting is a fun way to decorate for a holiday. The possibilities are endless: snowflakes, Christmas trees, Easter eggs and bunnies, four-leaf clovers, and more! In winter, you can paint the inside of the windows. Or if the weather is nice during spring and summer, you can paint outside!
This strategy removes the reflection in a window, so birds don’t see a threat to attack.
You can also use a white paint marking pen (see this one on Amazon) and draw white lines on the window. Space the lines 4 inches apart, the entire way across the window. The bars deter the birds and the marker is removable.
Painting or drawing on your windows is a great temporary solution for aggressive birds. Once nesting season is over, the hormones wear off and most people stop having problems with birds attacking their reflection. At this point, you can just wash the paint off!
#9. Hang a wind chime in front of the window.
This tip is easy to implement but potentially very effective. Try hanging a wind chime or two in front of the window!
While the idea is slightly different from breaking up the reflection in a window, the result is the same. Birds will generally steer clear of wind chimes because they move erratically and make noise. Since the birds won’t get near the window, they won’t be able to see a reflection to attack!
#10. Cover your car mirrors.
If birds are attacking a side mirror on your car, cover the mirror while the car is parked. A cloth bag with an elastic band will do the trick.
Also, parking the car in a different location can help. I’ve had cardinals and robins that sit (and poop) on our car mirror and just by turning the car around, I was able to stop them. I’m guessing it’s because the reflection was not visible in the shade.
#11. Keep your windows dirty!
Did I just give you permission to never wash your windows?
YES, I did! 🙂
The cleaner your windows, the more they will have a reflection. On the other hand, if your windows are dirty or streaky, they won’t have as much reflection, which will ultimately keep birds from seeing their reflection to peck.
Honestly, I think it’s just irresponsible to clean your windows. Or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself when spring cleaning season rolls around. 🙂
How do you stop birds from pecking your windows?
I know many people use a combination of the above strategies. Let us know your experiences below!