National Bird Day is January 5
EVERY YEAR, FOLLOWING THE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT, National Bird Day is celebrated. The Christmas Bird Count is an annual event where for three weeks people who are not necessarily scientists take on the task of a scientific survey to count birds. Started more than a decade ago, it is the longest running citizen science survey in the world, helping to monitor the health of our nation’s birds. The task is simple: just go outside and count as many birds as you can see.
While you’re watching the birds, take a look at one of the leading killers of wild birds and learn what you can do to stem this tide of bird deaths. More than a billion wild birds are killed each year from colliding with windows. Many of them die on impact, while some may be stunned and fly away. However, even those who fly away may later die of internal hemorrhaging or brain swelling from damage sustained in the collision.
Birds fly into windows because they don’t perceive them as windows. Reflecting the environment around them, the windows look to a bird like it can fly right through them. Putting stickers on the windows doesn’t really help, either, because birds just try to fly between the stickers. But there are things you can do to help.
Leaving taut window screens up year ’round helps break up the reflections on windows and also cushions the blow should a bird still hit the window.
Apply CollidEscape to the exterior of the window. This is a vinyl application that reduces reflections on the outside of the window while still allowing you to see out from the inside.
Install frosted or etched glass instead of clear glass. This reduces reflections and can be done as new windows or via craft kits that allow you to do the etching or frosting yourself.
Use external awnings or sun shades, or keep the blinds or drapes drawn.
Put bird feeders closer than three feet from the window. If the birds are that close, they cannot get up enough speed to damage themselves by flying into the glass.
If you are installing new windows, angle them downwards so that they don’t reflect the sky and trees.
Make your windows safer for the wild birds in your area and there may be a few more to celebrate today!