Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bird–building collisions in the United States: Estimates of annual mortality and species vulnerability

"Based on 23 studies, we estimate that between 365 and 988 million birds
(median = 599 million) are killed annually by building collisions in the U.S.,
with roughly 56% of mortality at low-rises, 44% at residences, and, 1% at high-rises."


Understanding the value of imperfect science from national estimates of bird mortality from window collisions

"The main drawback is the inherent and somewhat unquantifiable bias of using small-scale studies to scale up to a national estimate. The direct benefits include development of new methodologies for creating the estimates, an explicit treatment of known biases with acknowledged uncertainty in the final estimate, and the novel results. Other overarching benefits are that these types of papers are catalysts for improving all aspects of the science of estimates and for policies that must respond to the new information."


  1. I have a suggestion for helping make existing windows move visible to birds.

    Add transparent UV blockers (like those found in sunscreen) to the window cleaning fluid. This should reduce both reflections and transparency of the window to the birds, but would otherwise just work as normal window cleaner.

    This should make the window quite visible to the birds with UV vision (which is most of them I think). This could easily be tested in a small aviary (where the birds can't get up to lethal speeds, but would still bump into an unfamiliar pane of glass).

    Possibly the new formula might make the windows a bit streaky or greasy, until we got the mix right. It would also weather off pretty quickly, so it would need to be redone every few months.

    A similar idea would be to put up a 3cm grid of clear glue dots impregnated with UV pigments (ie visible to UV, invisible to humans). It would last longer, but would also cost more.

  2. Hi Mark, Thank you for your comment. I have actually thought of a similar solution, using a similar fluid as used in 'glowfitti.' But am curious how long it would last and applications needed. I'm eager to test it out.