Our friends at American Bird Conservancy have announced an important new resource that should be of high interest to homeowners, architects, building managers, and anyone else searching for ways to keep birds from colliding with windows.
It’s a list of products that ABC and its partners have verified as Bird-Smart. According to ABC, verification means the products not only have been proved effective at minimizing the frequency of bird-window collisions but also are affordable and aesthetically pleasing.
The organization has verified 18 products to date, including patterned glass, window films and tapes, and external screens. Six are consumer materials meant for homeowners. Fourteen are commercial products intended for architects and building managers. Two are appropriate for either setting.
The recommendations are the fruits of six years of testing by ABC, New York City Audubon, Ennead Architects, and other partners in ABC’s Bird-Smart Glass Program.
The products meet guidelines developed in 2010 by the U.S. Green Building Council, which operates the LEED certification program for sustainable building design. In collaboration with ABC, the council developed the guidelines to help architects design buildings that either minimize the frequency of collisions or prevent birds from hitting windows by limiting the use of glass, incorporating glass with bird-friendly patterns, or designing features like shades to reduce threat of collisions.
ABC says it will expand its list of Bird-Smart products as manufacturers of glass, window films, and external screens create new products or document the effectiveness of existing ones.
“This new market of bird-friendly products will go a long way toward reducing a tremendous threat to birds,” says Christine Sheppard, manager of ABC’s Bird-Collisions Program. “Bird-Smart glass can and should be a standard component of sustainable design. We hope manufacturers develop even more products that help architects and homeowners make their buildings and homes bird-friendly.”
As we have reported, researchers with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds have concluded that between 365 million and 988 million birds die after colliding with buildings in the United States every year.
Virtually every bird species in North America is affected, but migratory birds and yard birds are among the most common victims. Wood Thrush, White-throated Sparrow, Painted Bunting, Anna’s and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and other species that are declining across their ranges are also affected.
American Bird Conservancy is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. You can read more about ABC’s work in “Eye on Conservation,” a column that appears in every issue of BirdWatching magazine.
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