(StatePoint) You may not realize it, but the average residential property can be hazardous to local wildlife without proper precautions taken.
An estimated 98 million birds are killed annually in the U.S. when colliding with windows, according to Western Ecosystems Technology, making your home a potential death trap during migratory season. However, there are steps you can take to not only protect the birds whose flight path traverses your yard and garden, but also offer them a safe place to rest and feed adding natural beauty for your garden.
Start by making glass visible to birds by applying safety decals to window exteriors every few feet. Remember sliding glass doors as well.
To maintain the look of your home and your own view out the window, use decals that are unobtrusive to the human eye, but contain a component that reflects ultraviolet sunlight. Those from WindowAlert have proven in studies to be an effective visual barrier that only birds can see, particularly when combined with WindowAlert UV Liquid, a gel which can be applied between decals for greater protection.
"Everyone can help contribute toward making migration safer for birds," says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert.
Because the UV reflectivity may fade over time based on exposure, replace the decals every four months and reapply the liquid every three months.
Schock also points out that if you want migratory birds to stay awhile, you may want to consider avoiding the use of pesticides that kill insects which are their natural food source. A strategically placed bird feeder -- either within three feet of a window or over 30 feet away in order to prevent bird strikes -- can provide nourishment and energy to hungry birds. Ideally, bird feeders will be placed well away from where prey may be lurking, such as bushes and trees.
If you own cats, you should also be mindful of their danger to birds and monitor your cats' time spent outdoors to ensure they are not hunting feathered friends.
More tips for turning your yard into a safe haven for birds can be found at windowalert.com.
"Birds play a valuable role in our ecosystem," says Schock. "Protecting them from the hazards humans have created will not only save lives, but will improve your local environment, too."