For Parents

Bird Collisions

Researchers estimate that because of bird collisions, more than one billion birds die annually in North America alone. That’s a lot of birds. Imagine how many it must be if we add Australia and the rest of the world? So we need to think of ways to make our homes more bird-friendly. There are some simple and effective solutions and the good news is that some companies are also working hard on designs to try to solve the problem.

So what can you do? There are manufacturers now making glass embedded with UV reflective filaments that create patterns. As humans, we can’t see them, but birds can. Other companies make special tape or other deterrents that can be stuck to the window. One of these, www.conveniencegroup.com sells 3M Feather Friendly tape. I’ve tried this and found it works wonderfully. The small silver squares do not impede the view.

They’re easy to apply and come with clear instructions.

Other great websites to check out are:

https://www.collidescape.org/
https://abcbirds.org – fantastic website for information, especially interesting is the article about bird-friendly coffee! Who would have thought?
https://www.birdsavers.com – you can even make your own if you only have one or two windows that are a problem

Other ideas: Parents can install removable screens or motorised shades. You can advocate for better legislation. Migrating birds often fly thousands of kilometres, so let’s make sure they arrive safely and get to rear their young so they can all return next season.

Cats

Birds are most active in the garden an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, so it is a good idea to keep your cat indoors at these times. If there are birds nesting in your garden, keep your cat indoors until the baby birds have left the nest and flown away as they are usually the ones most likely to fall prey to predators.

These are two great articles about keeping wildlife safe from cats –

https://www.petstrainingandboarding.com.au/blog/how-to-stop-your-cat-from-hunting-birds/

http://www.longgrassnaturerefuge.com.au/Documents/Factsheets/Factsheet%20cats%20and%20wildlife.pdf

What else can families do in protecting wildlife?

  • Don’t use pesticides.
  • Donate or join groups
  • Create nature reserves
  • Restore habitat
  • From wild animals to wild places, there’s an option for everyone.
  • If you don’t have money to give, donate your time. …
  • Visit national parks. Zoos are for entertainment, so teaching children to be compassionate & that animals need to be free, is a more empathetic option.
  • Take the family whale watching
  • Speak Up
  • Buy Responsibly
  • Pitch In
  • Recycle
  • Raise awareness through nature programs & books relating to animals.
  • Go for walks in the park or on nature trails & identify bird calls, using a phone app.
  • Encourage wildlife into your garden, by setting up a bird bath.
  • Plant flowers for bees, butterflies and insects.
  • Install an insect hotels, bird boxes & place rocks for lizards & skinks.
  • Have children help plant a garden.
  • Do not feed birds or animals human food, and do what you can to prevent them becoming reliant on being fed. We can often do more harm, even with the best of intentions, so learn what you can and teach others.