Birds and Buildings — Safe Wings Ottawa
An unfortunate bird after it has collided with a window.
You may have heard about the wild turkey sprinting down Slater Street last month, but dozens of smaller and less visible birds pass unnoticed through Ottawa’s downtown core every single day. Various sparrows, thrushes, warblers, and woodpeckers, to name just a few, make their way through bustling downtown, invisible to busy commuters even after they fall on the sidewalk from colliding with a window. In Ottawa, at least 200,000 birds are estimated to be killed yearly by colliding with glass.
Safe Wings Ottawa is a program of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club which works to reduce bird mortality from window collisions through research, rescue, and education. Led by Safe Wings co-ordinator, Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl, we will explore a part of the downtown core and discuss building features common to many building types which make these particular structures a danger to birds. Sarah will point out bird-friendly treatments and explain why some are successful, and some are not. Participants will learn why birds collide with windows, and about best practices and strategies they can employ to make their own home or workplace safer for these captivating creatures.
The solution to this problem is simple and easy for anyone to implement. Everyone has access to a window, and if we all made a little effort, together we could make a big change for the better to prevent one of the top human causes of bird mortality: window collisions!