Did you know approximately 500 million to 1 billion birds are killed each year in North America by colliding into windows? Because transparent glass is invisible to birds, and they perceive reflected images and windows as real, window collisions are one of the leading causes of death for migratory birds.
Windows that reflect images of trees and shrubs are especially dangerous. If birds do not die instantly when the strike the window, they will suffer a variety of internal and/or external injuries. Most window collisions take place during fall or spring migration during daylight hours, particularly in the morning.
In 1999 the first “Lights Out” program was initiated in Chicago. This program asks volunteers to walk around downtown areas and document dead window-strike birds and rescue injured birds. In the fall of 2019, Denver started their own “Lights Out” program. The goal is to use the data to convince businesses to make windows bird safe. Many college campuses have instituted their own research programs to make a change to reduce window strikes.
The Auraria campus is starting a citizen science program and we need the help of students, faculty and staff! Any time you are on campus, if you find a dead/injured bird or see a bird hit a window, use the app (below) to document the data. If you would like to help, even more, pick a day of the week to purposefully take a walk around campus and look for window-strike birds during fall (September –mid-November) and spring migration (April-mid-May). Or become a rescue volunteer to take injured birds to a rehab facility.
Once we have gathered the data, the Auraria Campus Sustainability Program will assist with lobbying AHEC to make our campus buildings bird safe.
If you have questions or want more information please contact: Dawn.Cummings@ccd.edu