Acopian Bird Savers are a relatively inconspicuous (visible, but not unsightly) way to prevent bird crashes, guaranteed. They’re a light curtain of strings that wave in the wind, in front of your windows – so birds see the obstruction and don’t mistake the windows for trees or sky.

They have a Build-Your-Own tutorial on their website; if you need a more custom solution or just want the materials done right from the get-go, you can order it from them online.

It’s fairly easy apply decals and UV liquid (remember, these are only useful for some bird species, not all!) by leaning outside, cleaning the windows, and sticking them on, but the real fix — Feather Friendly — requires access and time to apply it properly. Feather Friendly is probably the most effective solution out there, and it’s meant to last. It’s easy to apply when you live on the ground floor, but not so easy at higher floors. But higher floors still need effective protection.

That means many apartment dwellers and homeowners who don’t have access to an extension ladder might find it too much trouble to try and prevent birds from crashing into windows. (And because they aren’t there when the crashes happen, or see what happens next, they doubt they occur, or that they’re serious enough to kill the bird.)

I wrote this to help people who either have casement windows or modern sash-hung windows where you can tip the window inward in order to clean it (or pop the window out of the frame, as many can!). Sliding windows are even easier. You need to be able to access the top of the frame of the window on the outside. Also, this DIY fix is super-affordable, and as it’s not a permanent alteration to the dwelling, you don’t need your landlord’s permission to use them.

In short: a few weeks ago, I was looking at some supplies I had, and I had an “A-ha!” moment:

Cord conduits.

Cord conduits are used to hide the unsightly collection of modem, electrical, and speaker cables snaking around your internet and home entertainment systems. (If you also happen to have pet rabbits, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s no fun when the Internet goes down because a rabbit gave it a curious “What’s this taste like?” nibble.)

I had extra cord conduits I was no longer using, and I realized how easy it would be to install real bird-strike prevention on my upper story windows, if only I solve the backing sticky-tape problem.

Easy! Scrape off the old sticky tape – the cushioned kind – because it’s no longer adherent. This left a rough, soft residue on the backside of the cord conduits, which may help with the adherence of new two-sided tape.

The only question, which time will tell, is how durable the installation will be. [Update: In 2024, they’re still serving me just fine.]

Also: cord conduits are easily paintable with exterior latex paint, so they can blend into your window frames. In the back of my house, the window frames are white, but in front they are beige. (Of course I’m interested in matching! Matching is very fashionable. One must keep up with appearances.)

Instead of writing a to-do list, here’s a gallery of steps. I recommend looking at the images here with their captions, and if you need to see it up close, click the thumbnail and it will expand to the full photograph (some thumbnails presently appear sideways):

If anything’s unclear in this example, please drop me a comment, and I’ll rewrite it to clarify!

If you are worried about the landlord kicking up a fuss, you can thread and stretch monofilament line between two cord conduits on the window, using guidelines from Santa Rosa National. If you paint the cord conduits to match the window frame (take a close-up photo to the paint store), the landlord may not even notice. But the birds will.

Happy DIY-ing!