Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Sunday, April 29, 2007

And about that looking glass....



Windows cause such a horrifying number of bird deaths a year that it boggles my mind. I got to spend some time with Dr. Daniel Klem three years ago. He's the Muhlenberg College Professor who has spent much of his career systematically studying bird mortality at windows, and I was trying to make 101 Ways to Help Birds as solid as possible as I amassed information about preventing window kills.

I'm working on a project right now that touches on window mortality, and so I'm getting some of my pages regarding the book back up on my website, starting with #6: Make your windows safer for birds. My original hope was that the book would be fully illustrated with color photos, and this section in particular would have been more valuable with photos illustrating some window treatments.
Window at the EPA lab in Duluth. This window used to kill bazillions of birds during migration along the North Shore, but now the kill has been reduced to just about zero. This netting was purchased by employees, and is held in place by bricks on the roof.
Windows at Quarry Hill Nature Center were designed to angle downward. Reflecting ground instead of sky and trees, they've reduced bird strikes significantly.

Window at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has exterior netting to protect birds, and dramatically reduced kills.

Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska. These exterior screens were designed by what is now the Bird Screen Company.
Above and below--a zoo's windows now covered with CollidEscape. This exterior film (the kind used to put advertising on bus windows) is expensive but extremely effective. Sales benefit the Fatal Light Awareness Program.

These photos and more are on my website, on the 101 Ways to Help Birds #6: Make your windows safer for birds. I'd been trying to keep birderblog filled with useful links and photos, and in the coming weeks will be getting more of that information back up on my own website.

2 comments :

  1. Fortunately, I haven't had many problems with birds hitting our windows, but this is great information.

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  2. Great post, Laura. Prior to putting up birdscreen on all our windows, we'd find 1 to 2 dead birds per year - who knows how many collisions occured with birds we didn't find. Though it may not seem like a big problem at each house or building, when you multiply it out across the country, you begin realize why this is causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of birds.

    Mike M.

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