Bird Safe Buildings
Window strikes are a significant source of human caused bird mortality in North America. 365 million to 1 billion birds die from window collisions every year in the US alone. The majority of these strikes happen in low-rise buildings including residential areas.
Tucson, like many other cities, is experiencing rapid urbanization causing habitat loss for many species. Now more than ever a large number of birds are found near buildings, which puts them in danger.
Tucson Audubon’s Bird Safe Buildings initiative addresses both residential window strike prevention as well as dangers posed by large commercial buildings. This program creates a safe passage and residency for millions of birds in urban, suburban and rural settings.
Bird-safe Buildings Program is made possible by grants from National Audubon Society and Tracy Aviary.
FAQs & Best Practices
At certain times of day windows become mirror-like and reflect habitat across. Birds, not being familiar with that concept, try to get over to the patch of habitat inadvertently striking the glass.
Windows located directly across from each other create a sense of possible passage for birds.
Especially important during migration seasons, light can distract and confuse birds who either strike the windows or become caught in the disorienting beam of light.
- Install external blinds and screens to break up reflections. This is a temperature preserving method that can also lower your electric bill.
- Keep internal blinds partially closed unless it creates reflectivity. If two windows are directly across from each other, it creates a sense of fly through path for the bird and should be blocked.
- Position feeders either: 0 to 3 feet from of a window (so birds cannot gain enough speed to do damage that close); or more than 30 feet away (to allow more room to maneuver).
- Turn off indoor and outdoor lighting when not in use. Especially important during fall and spring migration in high rise buildings.
- Create designs on windows to make them more visible to birds. See our window treatment suggestions.
- Make sure that all designs are visible from 10 feet away. Recommendation for stripes is at least 1/8″ wide and for dots at least 1/4″ in diameter. With that said, bigger patterns are seen better from greater distances. The 2×2 spacing is still the most important factor.
- Report a Window Strike Case (local)
- Free Program registration to receive recognition decal
- What to do with a bird that has hit a window
- Global Bird Collision Mapper (global)
- ABC-approved Product Database
- IDA Resources for Wildlife-friendly Lighting
- American Bird Conservancy Resources
- FREE DECAL KIT INSTALLATION VIDEO
- Mason Center installation video
- Bird Safe Buildings Activity Guide For Kids in English and Español