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Why do birds fly into windows?

Why do birds fly into windows and how can you stop them? Also, will they hurt themselves?

Birding Expert - George H. Harrison

There are two kind of window collisions with birds. Birds that continually fight the glass, are fighting their own refection in the glass, believing that the bird they see in the glass is another bird and a competitor. These birds do not get hurt. The other kind of collision is when birds fly into windows because they see in the window the reflection of the outdoors, such as the woods outside the house. They often hurt themselves, and sometime die. The way you can reduce or prevent either of these kinds of birds/windows collisions by somehow removing the reflection. Either by soaping the outside of the window, hanging objects on the outside to distract the birds from hitting the glass, or by aiming the glass up or down to keep the birds from seeing the reflections. Some people have been successful by placing silhouettes of hawks and owls in the windows, to scare the birds away from the windows. GHH

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