Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

WGLBBO Receives Besadny Grant

By Bryan Lenz

Over the last decade, research has brought to light the immense scale of the issue of bird collisions with windows: 600 million birds die after hitting windows in the United States ... every year. The good news is that scientists are constantly improving our knowledge of what it takes to reduce collisions.

Most solutions involve reducing reflectivity, addressing areas of glass that appear to be fly ways, and turning out the lights at night during migration. The difficulty lies in actually getting developers and architects to incorporate the best current knowledge in their projects – and that is where this project comes in.

The Observatory, in partnership with Bird City Wisconsin, was awarded a C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin to begin targeted outreach to several organizations in southeastern Wisconsin with new buildings or building retrofits under consideration. These organizations include large banks and insurance companies, universities, and corporations. The goal of this work is to share bird-safe building tips with people in positions to implement them at significant scales in the hope of convincing them to incorporate bird-friendly designs and practices in their building projects and management.