Canada's native bird populations add a great deal of value to the country. They act as pollinators and insectivores thereby helping farmers. Tourists are attracted to birdwatching and hunting waterfowl in areas where bird populations support these activities. Birds make up a key part of Canada's ecosystem, and no business owner would willingly do harm to any winged creature. But collisions with building glass account for more bird deaths than avian deaths from oil spills or pesticides.
Here's what you need to know to protect birds from colliding with your building:
Birds don't understand glass.
Birds see the reflections in glass of sky and trees; they are able to see through glass to locate a tree on the inside of a building. But they can't really see clear glass or understand it. Think of yourself encountering an invisible force field that repels you, but which you cannot detect.
During the day, birds are drawn to reflections that look like familiar habitat. At night, city lights emanating from buildings confuse birds, especially migratory species. They become exhausted and then grow more confused when they are trapped in cities full of glass.
Some key species such as warblers, flycatchers and swifts are now threatened species due to issues such as building collisions.
Etched and patterned glass are some of the best deterrents.
If birds can make out a glass barrier, they will avoid it. Many experiments are being conducted on appropriate glass marking. Researchers have concluded that if you are using stripes as a pattern to alert birds to the presence of glass, you should make the vertical stripes no more than 10 centimetres apart and horizontal stripes no more than 5 centimetres distance from each other.
New discoveries and developments are being made every day.
While deterrents such as alarms, owl decals and magnetic fields haven't proven very effective, researchers are working on a coating for glass that emits an ultraviolet light birds can see but humans cannot. It is hoped this coating will save birds while maintaining the aesthetic qualities of glass walls that people enjoy.
When you are ready to replace or upgrade the glass in your facility, contact a glass installation professional to learn about the bird friendly guidelines for your area. The professionals, such as those at Suburban Glass & Mirror Limited, will know which bird safe glass is recommended for your particular application.