Posted by Anne Cosgrove
Birds colliding into windows are more common than many people may think. A February 2014 report in The Condor, a publication of the Cooper Ornithological Society, estimated that bird collisions with buildings result in the deaths of between 365 million to 988 million of these animals each year.
Meanwhile, the Michigan Tech student chapter of The Wildlife Society is participating in a bird-window collision research project, part of a North American project involving 41 college and university campuses from Mexico to Canada. Ten buildings are being studied on the Houghton, MI campus. Six were randomly selected according to certain criteria developed by the international program, and the four others were chosen by existing concerns regarding bird-window collisions. Seventeen students, faculty, and staff have observed and recorded the number of bird deaths. Some engineering students have also been involved.
Humane and environmental concerns notwithstanding, an increasing number of facility managers will need to consider how to reduce bird collisions since a growing number of locales are passing ordinances and other legislation on the issue. As Christine Sheppard of the American Bird Conservancy shared in a July/August 2014 article: Ordinances mandating bird-friendly design for new construction have now been adopted in several cities in California and in Illinois, as well as in the state of Minnesota and are pending elsewhere. And, in Sunnyvale, CA, projects within 300′ of vegetated or water areas one acre or larger must limit the amount of glass at ground level or add architectural devices, such as louvers, sunshades, or light shelves to reduce massing of glass. Any glass walkways or freestanding glass walls must incorporate bird-friendly patterns.
Have you encountered bird collisions at your facilities? What measures have you taken to reduce these harmful occurrences? What has been successful?
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