Birds face many threats when they come into contact with urban populations. One of the leading causes of avian mortality in cities is window collisions. In Canada it is estimated 25 million birds are killed each year as a result of bird window collisions.
For my master’s thesis I have developed the University of Alberta Birds and Windows Project to use citizen science and active participation to continue to identify the factors that affect collision risk at residential homes.
In late September, Environment Canada released a report on the leading causes of bird deaths, with collisions with houses or buildings tied for second spot with power lines, collisions and electrocutions, behind domestic and feral cats. Most studies on window collisions have focus on tall skyscrapers but based on the sheer number of houses compared to tall skyscrapers, houses represent 90 % of the mortality. More work is needed; only four studies in the past have focused on bird window collision mortality at houses.
To better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions at your home, the University of Alberta has developed this project to actively involve YOU in data collection. We are asking you to think about bird window collisions you have observed in the past and would like you to regularly search around your residence for evidence of bird window collisions in the future.Ideally you will search your residence daily for a period of at least one month. There is no limit to the number of months you can be involved in the project however, if a daily search does not suit your lifestyle we still want you to participate. We simply need you to keep track of which days you searched for evidence of a collision. To effectively monitor bird window collisions we need to know when people find evidence of a collision BUT it is equally important that we also know when no evidence is found.