Birder's Guide

NOV 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 27 of 43

26 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2016 B irds hit windows. It's such a common phenomenon that it's rarely questioned. It's just a fact—but it doesn't have to be. Solutions are right at our fingertips, and some are more sur- prising than you'd think! Between 100 million and one billion birds die annually in the U.S. from glass strikes (Klem 2009). Most people seem to think of strikes as separate, isolated, incidental occurrences, but unfortu- nately, collisions constitute an alarming- ly widespread phenomenon that poses a hazard to some of our most at-risk and declining bird populations (Klem 2014). Birders are in a great position to address birds hitting windows. We live and work where bird strikes happen, we have diverse connections, and we have the motivation to tackle conservation challenges where we see them. Or, per- haps, see through them. We must take the initiative and fix problem windows. If you know of a window that has been hit by a bird, it's likely not the first time for that window and probably will not be the last. Doing something to modify the window now will save bird lives in the future. This applies at home, at work, at school, and at any structure that has glass… yes, even bus shel - ters! The gear required to make these A Crashless Course in Avoiding Bird Collisions Top: This window has one internal and three external decals, but they do not present enough of a visual obstacle to deter bird collisions. The light inside of the building is on but does not overpower the tree reflection. Photo © Heidi Trudell Bottom: When perforated film dots (in this case, CollidEscape) are applied to the external surface of the window, there is a roughly 80% reduction in strikes. Two-inch spacing is ideal. The film dots create relatively low visual distraction when feeders are viewed or photographed from inside the building, compared to solid film or a window screen that would create noise in images. Photo © Heidi Trudell

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