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When birds see reflections in windows they do not see a difference with the real thing. Reflections of trees and shrubs in windows attract birds to fly towards them resulting in collisions with buildings and sometimes bird fatalities.
Making existing buildings more bird friendly
In 2018 a staff member working at Blusson Hall raised the issue of bird building collisions to Facilities Services staff. Apart from sporadic reports there was no systematic data on the specific locations or frequency of these bird fatalities.
In 2021 graduate student Katie Leonard volunteered to document sites on campus where bird fatalities had been observed. With this information SFU’s Centre for Wildlife Ecology coordinated two graduate researchers to conduct a study to document bird fatalities at several buildings.
Facilities Services is piloting a project to install Feather Friendly bird deterrent technology at the glazing on the south facade of Blusson Hall. These specialized bird deterrent markers make the window glass more apparent as a barrier for birds. The pilot installation is targeted to be completed this summer 2022. If successful the application could be expanded to make existing buildings more bird friendly.
While application of these markers aims to reduce daytime bird fatalities SFU Burnaby campus is located atop Burnaby Mountain and surrounded by forest. Migratory birds travel at night and are attracted to fly towards building lights when they are left on at night. Ensuring lights are turned off after hours on campus reduces this danger to birds.
While addressing bird collisions in existing buildings, consideration for bird friendly design is also being incorporated in new building design on campus. The new CSA-A460 Bird Friendly Building Design standard provides design information to help reduce bird building collisions.