United States & Canada - EN

Bird-friendly glass

logo Guardian
Performance and energy efficiency

Understand how glass can influence a building's energy and acoustic performance.

Applications of glass

Whether you need glass for facades, interiors, homes, or specific applications, we have a solution

Which glass is right

See how the right glass can help improve your quality of life and the beauty of your home

Understand glass

Learn more about glass and what you can do with it

Design with glass

There’s almost no limit to what you can create with glass

Build with glass

Glass is the ultimate building element, and can be tailored to each project

Glass for your home

We’re helping glass inspire more homes than ever before

7 St. Thomas

Curved glass contributes to harmony between Victorian and contemporary design

Midlands Technical College Library

When glass helps to create a comfortable learning environment

ARO - 242 West 53rd Street

Floor to ceiling windows provide light, transparency and sweeping views of Central Park

All our projects

From landmark construction projects to innovative residential builds, this is how our glass can make the difference

Our story

Just as we were in 1932, we're ready to meet the challenges of now and the future


Find out more about how glass can support sustainable design

Quality control

We strive for quality in everything we do

Our company

Learn more about who we are

Help and contact

Our expertise and commitments

Glass Analytics

Access our comprehensive suite of engineering and analytical tools

BIM objects

Download and use our standardized Guardian BIM content to create project specific BIM files

Seminars and online learning

For anyone who is interested in learning more about glass and its use

Each year, millions of birds accidentally fly into glass windows, doors and facades, with many of these collisions being fatal. As glass continues to make up more and more of the external building envelope, it is likely that the number of birds affected by this problem will increase over the coming years. Building requirements are becoming more stringent across the world, which means architects are now looking for glass solutions that are safer and help reduce the risk of bird collisions, while still providing the aesthetic and performance attributes that their projects require.

Why do birds collide with glass?

The two most common causes of bird collisions with glass are its transparency and reflectivity.


Birds cannot differentiate between reflections of tree, sky, habitat and the real thing. Even low-reflecting glass can act like a mirror when it is bright outside and dark inside. When coupled with certain façade designs, the reflections can create areas that are visually confusing to birds.



When there is a direct line of sight from one window to another (e.g. walkways, corners, bus stops, or transparent wind/sound barriers), birds do not perceive the glass as a barrier. They attempt to fly through, causing the collision. Additionally, birds do see wooded atriums and indoor plants inside buildings as inviting habitats, increasing the chance for collisions.



The design of the building and its location can have a significant impact on the collision risk as well as the maximum effectiveness of deterrents. Building shape, location, and landscaping (especially the anticipated height of the tree canopy once mature) all have considerable impact on the collision risk profile of the facility.



Birds use the night sky and ambient light levels to aid their migration navigation. This causes nighttime collisions as lighting inside buildings, especially those buildings with potential habitat, attracts birds. Artificial lights, particularly those that point upward, can lure and trap birds in their haze, where they potentially die of exhaustion.


Looks Good, Does Good

Glass lends itself to sophisticated design, and is a timeless, integral component of architecture. While humans can use environmental cues to identify glass as a barrier, there is growing realization that birds cannot. 

The expanding Guardian Bird1st™ product offering from Guardian Glass is a work of innovation, and the clear answer when seeking high performance glazing that does its part to help protect birds.

Tested to be Bird Friendly

Paired with select Guardian SunGuard® low-E coatings, Guardian Bird1st™ glass delivers on creating smart, beautiful structures cognizant of various performance and energy standards. Bird1st products may meet LEED Pilot Credit 55 and Toronto Green Standard Bird Collision Deterrence values.

Counteracting Collisions

Guardian Bird1st™ products visually signal an impending barrier to birds, helping decrease collisions as confirmed by the acceptable Avoidance Index score from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). To further defend birds, Guardian Bird1st™ adheres to the 2" x 4"* rule accounting for different bird sizes and species.

*2″ x 4″ rule: Design that accommodates two inches or less of horizontal space or four inches or less of vertical space between etch markings.

Designed Treatment Methods

There are three different preferred ways to treat glass that range in visibility to humans and have all been shown to be the most effective for bird-friendly applications. The decision of which to use can be based on the project criteria for aesthetics, cost and bird safety.

  • Fritted Glass—This option is the most visible to the human eye, and therefore can offer the most data around efficacy in protecting birds (if humans can see it, birds can too).
  • Etched Glass—This includes different common means of treating the glass, so it is translucent. It is moderately visible to the human eye.
  • UV-coated Glass—This option provides the least impact on human visibility and aesthetics.

Note that these treated glass deterrent applications primarily address daytime collisions, although frit may help with nighttime collisions too.

Download Bird-Friendly overview flyer

Our glass solutions for bird-friendly glazing