Today’s post comes from Tanya Berkers, Resource Management Group Leader at Pinery Provincial Park.
You might see sights next time you visit the Pinery Visitor Center, and hopefully the birds will too!
The park just installed thousands of vinyl dots on the windows to make them visible to our feathered friends.
How do polka dot windows help?
A Baltimore Oriole seen in Pinery
In addition to allowing you to see outside, windows are also very effective at reflecting images of the trees and sky. Birds do not see these reflected images as barriers and try to fly through them.
Most of us have probably heard the chilling “ping!” caused by an unfortunate bird’s head hitting solid glass. Sometimes injured birds are simply stunned and need a dark, quiet place to recover. Unfortunately, many birds die after hitting a window, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of birds in Canada each year.
In fact, birds hitting buildings and other infrastructure are one of the biggest threats to Canada’s birds (although it is probably dwarfed by the number of birds killed by feral and domestic cats).
Since the points were installed, almost no birds have come to the Pinery Visitor Center, and we hope to place points on more windows in the park as soon as we can.
What can you do to help?
If you want to help the birds in your neighborhood, here are some ideas:
1. Decorate your windows to make them more visible to birds
You can use vinyl decal stripes or dots, like we did, or there are many other ideas that can be found on the internet.
2. Use blinds or curtains to keep your windows dark at night.
Also be sure to turn off unnecessary lights. Like moths, birds can be attracted to bright lights and sometimes crash into illuminated windows.
Light pollution also causes many other problems, so whenever you can, turn off the lights!
3. Keep your cat indoors
If they like to be outdoors, consider buying them a leash and harness, or building them a fancy catio.
4. Plant native plant species
Many birds depend on the fruits and seeds produced by native trees and shrubs. Ask your local provincial park or conservation authority what plants will do well in your location, or talk to a native plant nursery or landscaping company.
Spread the word!
Let others know what they can do to help by sharing this blog or simply talking to a friend or neighbor about what you’ve learned.