My heart breaks every time a bird flies into our windows. Of course, these are the same windows that give us the chance to see barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers and more flying through our trees. Rockland, I love your picture--a titmouse, correct? We don't put rugs out for our birds, but we do brush our bunnies outside and leave the fur for the birds.
Anyhoo, I got these tips from http://www.birdchick.com
Q: How do I keep birds from hitting my window?
A: This is not an easy question to answer. Birds will strike window panes for different reasons. During mating season, a male will sometimes see its reflection as a rival for their territory and will try to fight the intruder to get it to leave. Migrating birds will see a reflection of the space behind them as they fly and perceive that they will be able to fly ahead only to fatally encounter the hard surface of a window pane. Feeder placement can also play a role in window strikes. In some instances, hawks will drive birds into a window to stun them and make them easier to catch.
There are several options to try, but they’re not simple. For birds fighting their own reflection, you need to get them out of the habit of seeing the reflection. Every day, when the bird is inspecting its nesting territory it comes to the same spot and finds a rival waiting for him. You can get him to forget about this rival by placing a barrier on the outside of the window. Cover the glass with a bed sheet or newspaper for ten to fourteen days. This might seem like an inconvenience, but it’s much better than listening to a bird slamming itself against your window for half the summer.
If birds are flying into the window, look at the location of your bird feeders. Having feeders within ten feet of a window prevents birds from hitting the pane so hard. Having feeders right on your window is even better. A feeder right on the window forces the birds to slow down and inspect a possible feeding area.
Feeders within twelve to thirty feet of the house can cause more bird fatalities. The feeders are far enough away that the birds can get a good speed going before they hit the window. If feeders are more than thirty feet away, that tends to force the birds into a flight path away from the window panes.
If hawks are driving birds into the window, there is little you can do. Birds are trying to flee a predator and if panic sets in, they are not going to make the best flying choices. If this is a regular problem try placing decals, sun catchers, or Mylar tape on the outside of the window to break up the reflection. These MUST BE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW; if they are placed on the inside birds will not see them.
Another option is getting the type of netting that is used by gardeners to keep birds from eating berry bushes and placing that six inches away from the window pane on the outside. This creates a type of cushion, preventing songbirds from hitting the window. The netting is so fine that it is barely noticeable when you look outside, however it can block some of the light coming into your home.
What we really need are for architects and glass makers to find a way to either develop building designs that are safer for birds or create glass that birds can see.
In addition, you can visit David Sibley's site for another tip to prevent some birds from hitting windows. Also, check out CollidEscape or Birdscreen.