Windows are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of songbirds every year, and our campus is no exception. As this is a cross-disciplinary challenge involving avian behavior, building design, and campus sustainability, Biology professor Mike Butler and I have worked with students to better understand the extent of this problem and to develop some effective ways to reduce fatalities here. Our dataset demonstrates that window strikes are clustered in spring and fall at some of the newer campus buildings that have extensive reflective glass (e.g. Hugel, Skillman, Kirby sports center). A variety of species are affected, as illustrated in the photos later on this page. We have joined our effort with a network of colleges and universities across North America doing similar studies as part of an Ecological Research as Education Network project – see first link below.
This is a problem with some relatively inexpensive solutions. Recently, in collaboration with alum Jeff Acopian, Plant Operations installed Acopian Birdsavers on several campus buildings as a pilot program to test their effectiveness in reducing collisions. You may have noticed these on Hugel and Williams Visual Arts. In our view this effort needs to be expanded to more windows
EREN collaborative Bird-window Collisions Project
Dan Klem’s Birds and Windows site at Muhlenberg College
American Bird Conservancy’s Glass Collisions site
LEED pilot credit for bird collision deterrence
A sampling of pics from campus:
Video clip, Sept 12, 2013 next to Hugel – if the pictures don’t disturb you, this might…
Note, if your iPhone or whatever wont let you view this, go to YouTube.