Under $25 Scores: These window decals help prevent birds from flying into glass

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Molly Flores/CNN Underscored
Molly Flores/CNN Underscored

Ever heard the thump of a bird flying into a window? The sound is unpleasant and distressing, especially when you consider that hundreds of millions of birds die annually from window collisions. There are many solutions to prevent window collisions, from installing window decals and tape to strategically placing bird feeders and birdbaths within three feet of windows. By far, the cheapest and easiest method is putting up window decals, which are also known as “window clings.”

My mother’s home is outfitted with dozens of large windows. Ever since I was a child, I remember hearing birds crash into the window and then seeing them struggle in pain on the grass. Some got up and flew away, but many died. When I moved back in with her part-time to help care for her a few years ago, I worked remotely from her kitchen table and was soon greeted by the sound of birds crashing into the windows. Sometimes, I’d hear several bird crashes in a single week, and for a long time, I thought this was just a sad part of life. Then I realized there was something I could do to stop it.

The Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings are one solution I found, and they are a cheap, easy and quick way to deter birds from flying into windows.

Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings


If you’re looking for a quick and affordable solution to help prevent window collisions, then the Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings are a great option. The set comes with twelve vibrantly colored hummingbirds that you simply peel off and adhere to the exterior of a clean window.

$8 at Amazon

How I found the Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings

Molly Flores/CNN Underscored
Molly Flores/CNN Underscored

While testing out half a dozen different styles of window clings, I found that the Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings were the easiest to install. Simply peel the sticker off the film, press it onto the clean exterior of a window and then press out the air bubbles with your hands, a book or any small, flat object. Unlike some brands, which had difficulty adhering to the glass or began falling off after just a few days or weeks, the Petallo clings have been happily hanging on our living room windows for three months.

Why the Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings are a score

These double-sided window decals are simple, straightforward and easy to install. In fact, I got all 12 decals up in about 15 minutes, including the time I spent cleaning the exterior of the window. Unlike some brands I tested, which couldn’t handle the elements, these window clings have adhered to the glass despite wind, rain, snow and cold temperatures. Three months later, they are still bright and beautiful to look at.

While professional-grade window treatments are the most effective (and least obstructive) way to prevent bird collisions, not everybody can afford them or has the time to install them. Your next best option is a set of window clings like these, provided you’re using them properly.

Dr. Christine Sheppard, the director of the glass collisions program of the American Bird Conservancy, says that window decals can work well as long as you follow these steps.

The Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings automatically meet the first two requirements — they’re at least 1/4-inch diameter wide and they are opaque — and they can easily meet the second two requirements if you install them on the exterior of the window and space them no more than two inches apart.

While I’m not in a position to conduct a scientific study determining the objective effectiveness of these window clings, I can subjectively report that I haven’t heard any birds crash into the window since installing the clings three months ago, which is encouraging. However, because sunlight dissipates the reflective coating on the decals (which is the case for nearly all nonprofessional-grade decals), I’ll need to replace them soon. To ensure the effectiveness of window clings, they need to be replaced every four to six months.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution (which is a bit more expensive and time-intensive up front but can save time and money in the long run), consider building your own acopian bird savers, buying American Bird Conservancy-approved ABC Bird Tape or installing professional DIY window films from a company like FeatherFriendly.

However, if you’re looking for a quick, cheap and easy solution that you can get up in a matter of minutes — even if it’s just to hold you over until you find a more permanent solution — then the Petallo Hummingbird Window Clings might be your best option.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.

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