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San Diego Humane Society

Windows and Birds

If it is a large bird or hawk that is unresponsive, the handling of these animals can be dangerous and animal control should be called. For smaller birds, see below. 


  • About 1 billion birds hit windows each year in the United States.
  • Opinions differ but some say that about 40% of these birds will survive and fly off. Large glass business towers are especially deadly to birds. 
  • There are ways to make windows safer for birds including moving bird feeders at least 30ft. away from them, especially large picture windows and placing objects on the outside of the windows to make them believe that they cannot fly through it.
  • There are a few websites with good ideas of how to make windows safer for birds, mostly involving placing objects on the outside of the windows.


  • If a bird has hit your window, start by examining the bird for injuries to the head or wings. We suggest you bring the bird to the Project Wildlife Care Center immediately if it does.
  • If there appears to be no injuries, but the bird is still not alert, place it in a box such as a shoebox lined with tissue with a lid to make it dark, then:
    • Place the box in a warm and quiet place away from noise, people and pets.
    • Do not feed it and check the bird several times during an hour.
    • If it is alert, release it immediately.
    • If an hour has passed and the bird is not alert, bring it to the Project Wildlife Care Center as soon as possible.
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