Action: Place feeders close to windows to reduce collisions
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
A randomised, replicated and controlled experiment in the USA found that placing bird feeders close to windows reduced the number of collisions with the windows and the number of fatal collisions.
In urban environments, many people feed garden birds in front of their windows, potentially increasing the risk of birds flying into windows. Determining how distance from windows affects collision rates is therefore very important. Other interventions designed to reduce collisions with windows are discussed in ‘Threat: Residential and commercial development’.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A randomised, replicated and controlled experiment between October and December 1991 in Pennsylvania, USA (Klem et al. 2004), found that there were fewest collisions and fatal collisions with windows when platform feeders were placed 1 m away from the window (24% of the 105 collisions, none fatal), compared with when feeders were 5 m (28% of collisions, 33% of fatalities) or 10 m from the window (48% and 67%). Similarly, in a repeat experiment in February 1992, there were fewest collisions and fatalities when feeders were 2m from the window (23% of 197 collisions, 5% of 21 fatalities) than 3 m (46% and 43%) or 4 m (31% and 52%) away. The proportion of collisions that were fatal increased with distance that feeders were from windows from 0% at 1 m away and 2% at 2 m to 59% at 5 m and 69% at 10 m. Six plate glass, wooden framed windows (1.4 x 1.2 m, 1.2 m off the ground, 55 m apart) and six platform feeders (with the platform level with the base of each window) were used on the edge of deciduous woodland and farmland.