Justine Kummer

MSc Student: Birds and Windows Project

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Bird Window Collisions

Birds face many threats when they come into contact with urban populations. One of the leading causes of avian mortality in cities is window collisions. In Canada it is estimated 25 million birds are killed each year as a result of bird window collisions.

The Birds and Windows Project was developed to use citizen science and active participation to continue to identify the factors that affect collision risk at residential homes.

Last fall Environment Canada released a report on the leading causes of human related bird deaths, with collisions with houses or buildings tied for second spot with power lines, collisions and electrocutions, behind domestic and feral cats. Most studies on window collisions have focused on tall skyscrapers but based on the sheer number of houses compared to tall skyscrapers, houses represent 90 % of the mortality. More work is needed; only four studies in the past have focused on bird window collision mortality at houses.

There are two ways to get involved:

  1. Birds and Windows Project – This project was developed to better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions at your home and to actively involve YOU in data collection. We are asking you to think about bird window collisions you have observed in the past and would like you to regularly search around your residence for evidence of bird window collisions in the future. This project is Canada wide and will be running at least until the end of 2014. To get involved in the Birds and Windows Project, visit: birdswindows.biology.ualberta.ca.
  1. Birds and Windows Bird Feeder Study – This project is interested in understanding and finding ways homeowners can safely feed birds at their homes. We are looking for homeowners in the Edmonton area with a history of window collisions or an abundance of birds in their yard to participate in our study. Participants will be asked to place a bird feeder in front of a window of their home and monitor it for a period of one month (and monitor the window for one month after the feeder has been removed). This study is being completed from April – September 2014. If interested please contact me: birdsandwindows@ualberta.ca.

You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook (@birdsandwindows and Birds and Windows).

 

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