Up to a billion birds die in collisions with glass each year in the United States. Although most people have seen or heard a bird hit a window, they often believe it is an unusual event. Add up all those deaths and the number is staggering.
Both common and rare bird species hit windows. According to a 2014 study, species commonly reported as building kills include White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are frequent victims, along with species of conservation concern like Wood Thrush.
Within our work to eliminate threats to birds, we are proud to be the first organization to take a national approach to solving the problem. We educate and inform architects, planners, and developers about the issue and solutions. We advocate for legislation to require use of bird-friendly materials, and we develop and evaluate new materials.
In addition, we make it easy for homeowners to reduce bird collisions at residences.
Bird-friendly policies can save species like Yellow-rumped Warbler (shown) and other birds that frequently collide with glass: We’ve helped create ordinances on bird-friendly design in communities from San Francisco and San José to the state of Minnesota. We aid in this process by providing expert testimony and other assistance such as model statutes. Contact us to get started in your community!
Through our efforts, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program adopted a pilot credit for reducing bird collisions, LEED Pilot Credit 55. It encourages architects to limit use of glass, incorporate glass with bird-friendly patterns, or design features like shades to reduce threat of collisions. Read more.
We are actively advising the glass and window film industries on how to design bird-friendly materials. In addition, our testing program (such as at our facility in Pennsylvania, shown) rates the relative threat posed by materials. Our ratings are the basis for the LEED credit and bird-friendly design ordinances we’ve helped to put in place. Read more.
We produced “Bird-Friendly Building Design” to provide detailed information on the collisions issue. It provides recommendations on designing structures that minimize bird deaths and is especially helpful to those looking to apply voluntary guidelines or mandatory standards for buildings.