World’s Biggest Ferruginous Hawk Nest

FEHA nest sculpture in Leader, SK.  Photo: Janet Ng

FEHA nest sculpture in Leader, SK. Photo: Janet Ng

Some of our field work takes up to far flung places in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Leader, Saskatchewan has several claims-to-fame including nine Larger Than Life sculptures that are scattered through town.

Our favourite, of course, is the 15 foot Ferruginous Hawk nest that resides on main street.

FYI, they frown upon climbing into the nest.

Burrowing Owl family in Leader, SK.  Photo: Janet Ng

Burrowing Owl family in Leader, SK. Photo: Janet Ng

Birds and Windows Project

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.

Bird window collision evidence on the University of Alberta campus

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 focus 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.

To better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions at your home, the University of Alberta has developed this project 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.