Collisions with glass claim the lives of a billion birds a year in the United States alone. It is second only to domestic cats as a source of mortality linked directly to humans. Birds that have successfully flown thousands of miles on migration can die in seconds on a pane of glass. Glass is as dangerous for strong, healthy breeding birds as it is for sick, weak, or young birds. It is an indiscriminate killer with a serious impact on bird populations.
Advances in technology have made it possible to construct tall buildings with all-glass walls, homes with huge windows, and miles of transparent noise-barriers on highways. Because of this, there has been an increase in the amount of glass used in construction and subsequently, an increased impact on birds.
This Green Drinks presentation will discuss why glass is such a problem for birds, differences in vision between birds and humans, identify the best practices and options in preventing bird collisions, inform about legislation at the Federal, State, and local levels regarding bird friendly building standards, and offer resources for further information about bird friendly building design.
Gail Walter. Gail is a mostly retired clinical pathologist with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University who consults primarily for the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries. Gail is a former board member and President of the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo, a current board member of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and is a member of Wild Ones and Michigan Botanical Club. She has been the driving force behind the Peregrine Falcon Cam in downtown Kalamazoo and serves as the liaison between the Peregrines and the building owners and tenants, the media, the Department of Natural Resources, and the public. Gail and her husband Tom Nehil are active hikers, cross country skiers, birders, and canoeists.