Part of the Bay Area News Group

Do glass walls and windows kill birds? Duh!

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 at 7:11 am in Birds.

According to the Associated Press, Hearthside Homes in Huntington Beach, Calif., is building 350 homes overlooking a wetlands area full of birds. They constructed a wall around the development as a barrier between the houses and the open space area and made it out of glass so residents could still watch the birds in the beautiful wetlands area around them.

Local conservationists now say at least 12 birds have died after flying into the wall. (And those are just the ones they found.)

“You could not build a better passive bird killer in a better spot than they did here,” said Scott Thomas, conservation director for Sea & Sage Audubon, an Orange County chapter of the Audubon Society.

Audubon California says the reflection of nearby trees on the glass is likely what is confusing the birds. “It’s a mirage, basically, because the birds think they’re flying into the reflection,” said Gary Langham, director of bird conservation.

Anywhere from 100 million to one billion birds … that’s right, one billion … die every year after flying into glass windows on skyscrapers and other buildings, residential houses … and, yes, now they’re even flying into glass walls.

I don’t think a week goes by without someone sending me an e-mail about a hummingbird, Cooper’s hawk, mourning dove, or some other bird species flying into their windows. It’s definitely a major problem for the birds. According to the AP story I read this morning about that stupid glass wall, flying into windows is the most significant source of bird fatalities in the country, short of loss of habitat.

Think about it. That’s pretty amazing.

What’s next, giant glass billboards set up along the Pacific Flyway so we can clobber millions of birds as they migrate north and south every year?

And we keep wondering what’s happening to all the birds.

While we’re at it, here’s how to keep birds from flying into your windows:

Audubon:
http://www.audubon.org/educate/expert/window.html

NPR:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5076012

WindowAlert ultraviolet decals:
http://www.windowalert.com/

National Wildlife Magazine — Creative Solutions:
http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?articleid=52&issueid=9

Thanks for caring! /Gary

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No Responses to “Do glass walls and windows kill birds? Duh!”

  1. Enrique Caro Says:

    Thanks for the info. I too have a problem with birds flying into my glass sliding doors. Just this morning a young dove died as a result, and last week we lost another. Your ideas will be put to the test, as I am actively looking for a solution, at least for my home. More, however, needs to be done; incredible the estimates of bird deaths due to glass strikes.

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