Glass collisions: It's a huge problem for birds. 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 in glass collisions include White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are frequent victims, along with Wood Thrush and other species of conservation concern.
Within our work to eliminate threats to birds, we are proud to be the first organization to take a national approach to solving the glass collisions problem. We educate and inform architects, planners, and developers about the issue and solutions. We also advocate for legislation to require use of bird-friendly materials, and we develop and evaluate new materials. In addition, we have also produced a fact sheet on quick and inexpensive ways that homeowners can birdproof their windows, available in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
Our Bird-Smart Glass Program provides proven tested products for every conceivable need, from those of architects and builders to homeowners.
Have more questions? Check our our comprehensive FAQ post.
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Tested Products: We’re proud to present a comprehensive resource to help stop birds hitting windows. Products are suggested for existing and new windows, for every size and shape imaginable, and for every budget. Explore and order.
Legislation: Bird-friendly policies can save species like Yellow-rumped Warbler (shown) and other birds that are frequent victims of glass collisions. We’ve helped create ordinances on bird-friendly design in communities from San Francisco and San José to the state of Minnesota. Contact us to get started in your community!
Green Buildings and Birds: Through our efforts, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program adopted a pilot credit for reducing glass 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.
Developing and Testing Materials: 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.
Bird-friendly Buildings: We produced “Bird-Friendly Building Design” to provide detailed information on the glass 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.
We thank the Leon Levy Foundation and David Walsh for their support of ABC’s Bird-Smart Glass Program.