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Commercial / Institutional Strategies to Reduce Bird-Building Collision:

Solutions for new and existing builds

With more than two decades of developing expertise in light, reflective glass and bird behavior related to the bird-building collision issue and bird-safe buildings, we have developed many tools and resources to engage our communities. Among them is BirdSafe®; building standards, guidelines and risk assessment consulting services for municipal, commercial and institutional buildings.

We all share a responsibility to try and lessen the impacts of urban infrastructure with our natural environments by adopting an ecological approach to planning, designing, building, and retrofitting our cities and towns.

As architects, developers, building owners and managers, you have particular opportunities to:

  • influence the design of new builds, and to retrofit existing ones

  • ensure compliance to any local, provincial and/or national laws

  • achieve a variety of green building standard credits

  • enhance your brand’s reputation

  • shape green community corporate social responsibility platforms

Building aesthetics in design is important. The visual cues that birds need to avoid impact with glass are perceived to interfere with aesthetics, when in fact they can beautify a building’s facade. The moment one looks at glass as a canvas, the options for individuality and excellence in design become limitless.

Bird-building collisions occur most frequently in dense urban areas. During the day, birds see their habitat—trees, bushes, sky, water—reflected in windows and reflective exteriors on buildings and fly towards them. They also perceive clear passage through transparent glass on link ways or skyways between buildings or through glass-walled solariums and lobbies. Birds might also strike a window when they see interior, ornamental plants and trees through clear glass and try to take flight there.

The icons to the right highlight bird research-based collision reduction strategies that offer cost-effective, durable, and aesthetically-pleasing solutions, while helping to provide a safer passage for migratory birds through urban areas.

The key to bird-safe buildings is to include collision reduction strategies in building design, while applying bird-safe solutions to bird-building problems: BirdSafe standards and risk assessment are available through FLAP Canada.

FLAP Canada Standard for Visual Markers

For most bird species visual markers are to be separated no greater than of 5 cm (2 inches) vertically and/or 10 cm (4 inches) horizontally. See below image
For smaller bird species (hummingbirds, kinglets, creepers, etc) markers should be separated by a maximum of 5 cm (2 inches) vertically and/or 5 cm (2 inches) horizontally.
Markers should stand out and offer the highest level of contrast on transparent and reflective exterior surfaces under varying daylight conditions.
The dimension of a marker pattern should be no less than 0.64 cm (1/4 inch).
Visual markers are to be applied to the exterior surface (first surface) of glass in order to disrupt the illusion of the reflected environment or open area beyond the glass.
Marker patterns should cover entire glass surface up to 20 metre above grade or to the top of mature tree canopy, whichever is greater.
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CLICK HERE to learn about bird deterrent products that DO NOT work.

CLICK HERE to learn about emerging bird deterrent technologies.

CLICK HERE to learn about 'Do It Yourself" bird deterrent techniques.

CLICK HERE to learn about home bird deterrent products.