Safe Skies Maryland

March 30, 2022

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This spring, Safe Skies Maryland will be helping with the next stage of installation of Feather Friendly's 2x2 bird safe dot pattern to be applied to selected first floor windows at the Tawes Building complex including the front entrance area. These adhesive dots are applied in large sheets as designed for commercial buildings. The product will be used to cover 900 sq. ft. of glass, with the goal of preventing birds from hitting the windows.

 

Why Does this Matter? Up to about 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year, according to a recent study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Migratory birds live in forests, meadows, or wetlands, and do not understand the concept of glass. To a migratory bird, glass is an invisible and dangerous obstacle. They see the landscape reflected in windows and mirrored building exteriors and mistake the reflection for shelter. Where windows line up with each other front and back (i.e., glass breezeways) birds perceive clear passage and try to fly through to the trees they see on the other side.

Bird-building collision fatalities are second only to the impacts of habitat destruction brought about by changes in forestry, agriculture, urban development, climate change, and invasive species  Why did DNR staff decided to do something about it at Tawes Buildings?

Because an estimated 1 to 10 birds die per building, per year. The Tawes building is responsible for a documented average of 36 birds per year, but gaps in data moves this number closer to 100 birds per year. Although our whole building is problematic as it is made of glass, our breezeways are responsible for the most collisions at Tawes, so this is an easy, targeted fix. We are luring migratory birds in concentrated numbers with good habitat-stopover. However, this is increasing chances of window collisions. Nighttime lights may also be a problem, as well as the numerous potted plants by office windows.

 

Bird casualities from window-strikes are easily recognizable. Apart from their proximity to windowpanes, their neck is visibly broken from the impact. Although the rest of the body is stiff from muscle contraction (normal in fatality), the neck remains limp.

What is the solution?

 

Studies have shown that the Feather Friendly dots approach will help solve bird strike problems here at the Tawe’s Building complex.

To Learn more about Safe Skies Maryland - an entity of Maryland Ornithological Society 501c3. Check out https://mdbirds.org/safeskiesmaryland/

 

Also, more about how to protect birds from window strikes at the American Bird Conservancy at https://abcbirds.org/glass-collisions/

If you would like to volunteer to please contact Claudia Donegan at Claudia.donegan@maryland.gov.