Migrations are a particularly dangerous timefor birds, which pass through Evanston in large numbers, risking collisions with windows. Between 500 million and 1 billion birds annually die in the United Statesfrom flying into windows, according to ornithologists. Window collisionsare a leading cause of bird mortality and of population declines foronce-common species.
Evanston is a stopover point for around 280 species – and millions of birds – that migrate through Evanston and Chicago, and stop at our lakefront every spring and fall. Tens of thousands of dead and injured birds have been found over the past 10 years in Evanston, at lakefront buildings, highrise buildings downtown and at residences.
Here are ways to think through which of your windows might be dangerous and which solution work best for you.
Maybe you know a window where birds have hit. If you have heard a bird hit, other birdsmight have hit as well. Many times raccoons, gulls and other animals remove or eat dead birds so there is no evidence of a bird casualty.
If you do not know which windows are a particular threat, walk outside your house and look at your windows. Pay special attention to the first three floors. Here are some likely trouble spots:
Solutions are easy and inexpensive. If birds hit your windows, consider:
From things on-hand.
... Remember to turn down or off the lights! Lights off at 11pm, especially during migration. Use light IF, WHEN, and WHERE you need it, and keep it orange-red and minimized. Brighter isn’t safer. See our Lighting page.
Artificial Lighting Doorhanger, NHE. Share at brightly lit buildings to explain why it matters to dim lights.
Our short guide to get your garden buzzing with life — attracting butterflies, bees, fireflies and birds.
How to stop birds hitting your windows, Evanston Roundtable 2023. Which windows, what steps are essential, what solution works for you.
Sign up for the NHE Newsletter
Bird-Friendly Evanston powerpoint on solutions to Bird-Window fatalities. 2023
American Bird Conservancy shares brochures on bird-friendly design.
Bird friendly design strategies to reduce bird collisions and death, including consideration of overall architectural design to reduce hazards, the use of bird friendly materials, especially glass, exterior and interior lighting provisions and consideration of site planning and landscape design to reduce potentially hazardous situations." "
PDF document "Methods to Reduce Bird Collisions with Glass When Remodeling and Designing New Facilities", 10 pages, dated 11/20
YouTube Video "Incredibly Simple tip to prevent birds flying into window", 1:32 long, posted in 2017
YouTube Video "Acopian BirdSavers – Prevent Birds from Flying into Windows", 1:11 long, from birdsavers.com. These are also known as "Zen Wind Curtains"
Toronto FLAP shows quick solution to stop bird strikes
YouTube Video "Prevent Bird Window Strikes with Washable Tempera Paint", 2:06 long, posted in 2021 FLAP Canada
YouTube video "Backyard Birding Tips: Preventing Bird Window Collisions", 4:26 long, posted in 2020, National Audubon Society: Masking Tape
Website sells screens to stop bird collisions.
Collidescape offer sheets of dots and patters to peel onto your window.
Website that sells tapes of pre-positioned square or round rows of dots to quickly create a grid of properly spaced dots on windows.
Website offering window treatments.
Donating to Climate Action Evanston and earmarking your donation for Natural Habitat Evanston. You can further earmark your donation to one of our initiatives.
Join our Pollinator Pledge and let the city and landscapers know we care about sustainable yards. Take an optional yard sign to spread the word.
$25/bag to local residents (pickup; no shipping). We also have some $5 seed packets of bottlebrush and little bluestem grass. While supplies last. Emails should include your phone number and which species you are requesting. Pay by check payable to Citizens’ Greener Evanston at pickup.
Help at outdoor workdays
Northwestern students Petition for Bird-Friendly Films at Mudd Library. Mudd Library accounts for over 14% of bird deaths and injuries on campus each year. Applying patterned window film to a portion of the building would dramatically reduce collisions that are fatal to birds.
Get updates and share your thoughts on our FB Group. You can also check out our FB page here https://www.facebook.com/NaturalHabitatEvanston
Just want to spread the word on certain steps? Mow Less-Leave Leaves (2-sided yard sign) or Leafblowers sign
Get news the next time there is a threat to Isabella Woods. (Only sent when there is news.)
Provide Food, Water, Shelter, Places to Raise Young and Sustainable Steps for wildlife. It helps Evanston maintain its NWF Community-wide Wildlife Habitat certification.