Can Birds See Glass? Explained In Detail With Facts

Can Birds See Glass

Every creature of nature has different capabilities and the same stands true for the birds. Birds have good vision and flying capabilities which makes them exceptionally different.

However, the prey birds like eagles and falcons have better abilities than other birds. They can see eight times further than humans.

But, even having good eyesight, there are many instances where birds banged themselves into the window. 

This either leaves them injured or they died because of it. Birds’ vision is sharp but they don’t perceive depth in the same way as mammals.

Birds can misunderstand their reflection in the glass and mistakes them for the real thing. 

So In this article, I’ve explained all the facts related to a bird’s vision. 

Why Do Birds Fly Into Windows?

Most birds stay aware of their surroundings due to which we also keep a safe distance while observing them in the wild.

Getting too close to birds will make you visible to them and they will fly off. Birds have large eyes densely packed with receptors to enhance the visual acuity and other adaptations to reflect more light.

Despite this, there are millions of birds who died flying into windows every year. 

There are several explanations as to why birds fly into windows. The first reason for this is that bird eyes are generally mounted towards the side of their heads which maximizes their field of vision.

This makes them able to perceive the depth of 3D structures that contain glass. 

Birds often confuse their reflection for another bird and they perceive the reflection as strong enough to get mistaken for being real.

Birds see reflections of the sky, trees, etc on the windows and glass and it looks real to them. The natural environment proves to be the main reason why birds do not learn about glass. 

How To Stop Birds From Flying Into Windows?

For stopping birds from flying into windows, glass manufacturers make bird-safe glass which you can use on the outside of tower blocks and other tall structures.

This prevents bird fatalities and damage to the glass. Bird-safe glass enhances the UV reflection that birds see intensely. This helps them to perceive the glass as a barrier and not to bang on it. 

Another way of doing this is using a DIY method where you can black out the windows whenever possible.

You can also choose bird savers which are specifically designed to be laid over the top of the windows.

These savers are popular for new eco-friendly house builds and can even provide the benefit of filtering excessive infrared light.

Another method can be of using pieces of strings that can be laid across the window. This will signal the birds that the window is non-traversable. 

What Can We Do If A Bird Hits Your Window?

If you hear a bird striking the window, then check the nearby places if the bird is on the ground. It is also possible that they will fly away immediately if they are uninjured by the impact. 

Check If The Bird Is Alive Or Injured?

If the bird is laid motionless on the ground, then either it may be injured, dead, or stunned. Firstly, it is advised to check for injuries such as breakages or cuts.

If a broken wing, leg, or other injured body parts are suspected, then it is advised to contact a local wildlife hospital.

If the bird looks uninjured but isn’t moving, then the chances are either being stunned or killed by the impact. 

To check the status of the bird, look at the beak to check if it is open or is there any sign of breathing. The heartbeat of the bird can also be felt with two fingers across its chest.

However, if you can’t sense breathing or feel its heartbeat, don’t assume it to be dead. It can be a sign of a stunned bird.

Place the bird in a box and wait to see if the bird is recovering or not. You can call a wildlife hospital for advice on this. 

Is The Bird Stunned?

The stunned birds are essentially knocked out or concussed and it is important to give them time to safely recover from it.

If you find a bird stunned, then it is recommended to place them in a warm, dark box with some padding. These birds may take 2 to 3 hours to recover. 

Do Birds Die When They Hit Windows?

Many birds do not survive the impact when they hit on the windows. The velocities of the birds matter in this respect.

The exact figure of birds dying from window collisions each year is unclear. An estimated figure is 1 billion which originates from a 1990 paper written by biologist Professor Daniel Klem.

The British Trust for Ornithology estimated that some 100 birds collisions occur in the UK each year.

However, these are just estimates that give a sense of the problem, particularly in cities that intersect the migratory routes of some birds. 


Every year, there are many instances where birds got killed before getting banged into the window.

It happens because of the reflections in the window. Birds perceived those reflections as real and this makes them attack the window glass. 

At last, I hope this article may have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!

Related Articles You May Like

Scroll to Top