How can we cut down on bird fatalities caused by our windows, without scaring off all the birds? —R. Peters

If you’re concerned about using one of those stuck-on hawk silhouettes, don’t be. It won’t scare away your birds. Actually, it won’t do much of anything, unless you use multiple silhouettes, and cover your entire window.

Birds often fly into windows because they can see the reflections of trees, clouds, or sky, or because they can see into the cottage and out the other side, through another window. Something that eliminates the reflection or this illusion of an open passageway can help prevent crashes: a window treatment, such as a one-way film that makes the window opaque from the outside, but transparent from the inside; netting or screening on the outside of the window, which will also act as a safety net if the birds do hit it (they’ll bounce off); or closely-spaced ribbon or string hung vertically on the outside of the window. Curtains, blinds, or an awning may help too.

Also beneficial? Moving your bird feeders. The Ontario SPCA recommends either keeping them within one metre of the windows, or more than three metres away from them.