More than 100 million birds are killed annually in collisions with windows. If that figure makes you shudder, consider shutters.
Having windows with exterior shutters has proven effective at reducing bird strikes. Like the birds that visit and make our yards their homes, shutters also provide several practical advantages.
Birds, Window Shutters and Curb Appeal
Many homeowners actively seek to attract birds to their yards with the aid of trees, feeders, baths and other features. Birds offer a range of benefits that include pest control, weed mitigation and pollination, as well as human stress relief and a deeper connection with our natural world.
The presence of birds can also increase a home’s curb appeal. According to one academic study, homes with resident birds and greenspace had significantly greater property values than comparable homes without noticeable birds or dedicated greenspace; the more bird species in the area, the higher the property value.
But our homes can also be harmful to birds. According to the National Audubon Society, collisions with human structures are a leading cause of bird deaths and may contribute to up to 1 billion bird fatalities each year.
One solution, which also happens to enhance curb appeal, is exterior shutters. When the shutters are functional, they furnish additional merits including on-demand management of airflow, natural light and privacy, as well as improved energy efficiency.
Why Birds Fly Into Windows
When birds see windows, they often aren’t able to discern the glass panes as barriers. They view the reflections in the windows or the space beyond the windows as clear paths.
What people perceive as the reflection of the sky or outdoor trees in a window, birds see as a continuation of the sky itself or foliage ahead of them. Depending on factors such as window glare or the presence of plants within the house, birds may see beyond the window what they identify as an open flight path.
This inability to detect windows as separate objects leads many to fly into windows at top speed. Collisions can occur any time of year, day or night; reflections are often prevalent during daylight, and indoor lights at night can cause strikes from nocturnal birds.
These crashes are often deadly. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that at least 50 percent of birds that collide with windows die.
How External Shutters Help Prevent Bird Collisions
There are several ways to reduce the risk of bird strikes with windows, but exterior shutters can be valuable on multiple fronts.
As a recent House Digest article about preventing bird-window collisions notes, external shutters can help reduce window transparency and reflections. Even decorative shutters can give contrast and depth to their adjacent windows and diminish or distort reflections enough that birds avoid the windows.
Many organizations, including the Audubon Society, the Humane Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, recommend functional external shutters for bird-friendly homes. Operable exterior shutters can be partially or fully closed over windows when the windows aren’t in use.
When the windows are obscured or completely covered, there is minimal to no temptation for the birds to fly into them. Even the opened slats on functional louver shutters — which allow daylight in and some of the window to show through — can be enough to help birds discern the window.
The right exterior shutters add curb appeal to a home by making it stand out to residents and visitors. While birds may not care about curb appeal, external shutters help make a home’s windows distinctive to them as well.
About Timberlane: Shutters of Fine Feather
At Timberlane, we’re dedicated to making the world’s best exterior shutters.
Our custom shutters are handcrafted from premium materials by skilled artisans for precise fit and long-lasting performance. We have nearly three decades of experience working with trade professionals and homeowners to create the perfect shutters for each project, whether it’s a new build, a historic restoration or a DIY home improvement.
When you’re ready to learn more about custom shutters, our knowledgeable design team is here to guide you through the process, from shutter styles to materials to colors to decorative hardware. Connect with Timberlane today for additional information or to request a quote.