Can Birds See Glass? The Surprising Answer And What You Can Do To Keep Birds Safe

Can Birds See Glass

Have you ever seen a bird fly right into a window? It’s a startling and heartbreaking sight, and you probably can’t help but wonder: do birds see the glass? Fortunately, the answer is more complicated than you may think. Glass can be confusing for birds, as it reflects their environment and can even appear invisible. Thankfully, there are measures you can take to protect birds from glass-related injury or death. In this article, we’ll explore why birds don’t always see glass, the science behind it, and what you can do to keep birds safe. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the way birds perceive their environment and the steps you can take to protect them from harm. So buckle up and let’s find out if birds really can see glass.

Can Birds See Glass?

Yes, birds can see glass. Although it is often transparent and difficult to detect, birds have the same vision as humans and can spot glass. It is actually more difficult for birds to see glass than humans because of the way their eyes are shaped. 

What Is The Science Behind Birds Not Seeing Glass?

  • Birds see their surroundings similarly to humans, but with a few key differences. In humans, light rays enter the eye through the cornea and the pupil, travel through the lens and the vitreous body, and land on the retina at the back of the eye. The retinal cells then send signals to the brain, which translates those signals into what we see. 
  • Birds and reptiles have similar eye anatomy, but with a few key differences. Birds have a cornea similar to a human’s, and their pupils are made up of muscles that can dilate and contract. The retinas in their eyes are not covered with blood vessels like humans. Birds also have a third eyelid, called a nictitating membrane, which closes horizontally across the eyeball and is visible as a thin line when open. 
  • This membrane protects the eye from debris and damage. One key difference between human and avian eyes is that birds have a structure called a “pigment cup.” The pigment cup is the circular area above the retina and it helps the birds’ eyes refract light.

What Are The Risks For Birds Colliding With Glass?

  1. Birds don’t always see glass due to its reflective nature, so they may collide with it, resulting in injury or death. 
  2. Sarah Neiburger Birds don’t always see glass due to its reflective nature, so they may collide with it, resulting in injury or death. 
  3. When birds fly toward a window, they see their own reflections and don’t realize they are essentially flying into a wall. 
  4. Birds may collide with windows during migrations, when they are seeking food or water, or when seeking shelter from harsh weather. 
  5. Collisions often result in injury or death, as birds’ beaks are fragile and can easily break when hitting the glass.

Effective Ways To Keep Birds Safe From Glass Windows

Window decal

Window decals are a great way to prevent birds from crashing into glass windows. They are easy to install, reusable, and inexpensive. These decals come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They also feature various designs and words such as “danger” or “keep out”. Just make sure you choose a decal that’s non-toxic. So, these are simple and effective ways to keep birds safe from glass windows.

Window screens

Window screens are an effective way to keep birds out of your living space. You can use them on your interior and exterior windows. They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Depending on your preference, you can get a colored or black screen. A colored screen will blend in with your décor while a black screen will create a subtle and discrete look. Window screens are easy to install. Just make sure you know your window measurements. You can also hire a professional to install it for you if you’re not comfortable with the installation process. When shopping for bird-proof window screens, make sure you get a fine mesh. A fine mesh will prevent birds from getting inside your house. If you have pets, don’t worry. You can get a coarse mesh to keep both birds and pets out.

Bird feeders

Bird feeders are a great way to keep birds safe from glass windows. They keep your feathered friends out of harm’s way and away from your windows. The best type of feeder to use indoors is a tube feeder. Its narrow, cylindrical design makes it hard to be knocked over by birds. If one of your feeder’s tips over, it can fall onto the floor instead of smashing against the window. Tube feeders are easy to clean and they come in various styles, colors, and designs. They also come in different capacities, so choose one that’s right for your needs. If you have a large flock, you can use more than one feeder. Just make sure they’re far enough away from your windows to prevent birds from flying into the glass.

Planting to create a visual barrier

Another way to keep birds away from your windows is by planting. You can use a variety of plants to create a visual barrier. Plants such as hibiscus or palm are great because they are tall and provide a natural barrier. If you want to use flowering plants, tulips and daffodils are great for creating a visual barrier. If you want to plant to protect your windows, choose brightly-colored flowers. You can also use vines or other climbing plants to create a barrier. When planting to protect your windows, make sure to plant your flowers and vines at least a foot away from your windows. This will provide a visual barrier that birds won’t be able to breach.

Installing a hawk silhouette

If you don’t want to display the “danger” or “keep out” words on your window decals, you can install a hawk silhouette. This silhouette will keep birds safe by creating a visual barrier. It’ll keep birds away from your windows while adding charm to your décor. Hawks are known as an effective deterrent against birds. So, if you want to protect your birds from your windows, installing a hawk silhouette is one of the simplest solutions. When shopping for a hawk silhouette, make sure you select the right size for your window. You don’t want the silhouette to be too small or too big for your window. You can also choose a framed silhouette if you want to.

How Can You Prevent Birds From Colliding With Glass?

  • Keep windows and doors closed when not in use.
  •  Install bird screens on all exterior windows and doors.
  • Install a bird feeder that is at least three feet away from any glass surfaces.
  • Keep trees, shrubs, and other tall objects away from windows and doors.
  • Make sure that bird cages do not have glass fronts or sides.
  • Remove any obstacles, such as tree branches or wires, that may be in the way of a bird’s flight path into or out of a window or door.
  • Make sure that outdoor lights are shielded by appropriate reflectors so they do not shine into windows or onto areas where birds might be nesting or roosting.
  • Keep unsecured items, like plants and garden gnomes, away from windows and doors to prevent them from being a distraction or hazard to the birds.
  • Children should be taught not to feed birds from windows or doors and should never play with them near the glass.
  • If a bird is injured or killed by flying into or through glass, please call an emergency wildlife service hotline for assistance.

What Other Steps Can You Take To Keep Birds Safe?

  1. If you want to protect birds from glass-related injury or death, there are several steps you can take. First, avoid building structures such as buildings or houses with glass walls.
  2.  If you must have windows, make sure they are covered with decals or screens to prevent birds from colliding with them and keep your windows closed when possible. 
  3. You can also build birdhouses and feeders, ensuring they are positioned away from any windows.


Birds don’t always see glass due to its reflective nature, so they may collide with it, resulting in injury or death. The best way to protect birds from glass-related injury or death is to put decals on the outside of your windows. These decals will create a pattern on the glass that will make it visible to birds. If you want to protect birds from glass-related injury or death, there are several steps you can take. First, avoid building structures with glass walls; instead, build structures with walls that are designed to keep birds out.

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