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Buildings kill 1 billion birds per year...

owl, animals
Flaco the owl died recently after flying into the wall of a building in NYC. [1]

Tragically, buildings kill an estimated 1 billion birds in the U.S. each year as birds collide with the glass windows. [2] The good news is, architects are coming up with creative ways to prevent these deadly collisions. 


As architectural technology has improved, new developments in design have made it much harder for birds to navigate around buildings. Often, the glass windows are so pristine, birds attempt to fly through them. Or on sunny days, the glass may reflect trees and the sky, making it look like there isn’t a hard structure in their flight path. 

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York was responsible for the deaths of 4,000-5,000 birds a year, due to collisions. FXCollaborative, a New York-based architecture firm, took on the job of renovating it to make it more bird-conscious. 


One of the techniques used was the removal of glass and replacement with “fritted glass,” which includes a pattern baked into the design. “Tiny, textured dots on the glass are barely perceptible to people – but birds can see them,” according to The Guardian. The building was also given a green roof, which includes a sanctuary for birds. 


“Architects are starting to reimagine city skylines to design buildings that are both aesthetically daring and bird-safe,” according to The Guardian. UV reactive technology is explored, as well as architectural design techniques that play with the shape of glass or with wood fixtures to make the buildings more perceptible to birds. 

Bird collisions with windows are not limited to towering skyscrapers – residential windows can also pose a threat to our feathered friends. However, there are simple, effective steps every homeowner or office building manager can take to make their windows more bird-friendly, helping to protect these incredible beings from harm. 

If you work in a skyscraper or are just looking for more ways to make your windows more bird-friendly, here are some tips!

1. Use Bird-Safe Window Treatments


Install Decals or Bird Tape: Place decals, stickers, or bird tape on the outside surface of your windows. These materials break up reflections and make the glass visible to birds. Ensure they are spaced closely, as birds are adept at navigating tight spaces. Check out products such as Feather Friendly! [3]


Apply One-Way Transparent Film: This film allows you to see outside, but from the outside, it makes the window appear opaque, significantly reducing the risk of birds mistaking it for open sky. Check out Collidescape! [4]

2. Redesign Your Windows


Install Screens or External Shutters: Screens or shutters on the outside of windows not only provide shade and security but also act as a physical barrier, preventing birds from hitting the glass.


Choose Bird-Friendly Glass: If you're renovating or building, consider installing glass designed to be visible to birds. Options include glass with UV patterns that are invisible to humans but visible to birds, or fritted glass with ceramic patterns baked into the surface.

3. Be a Community Advocate


Educate and Inspire Others: Share your knowledge and experiences with neighbors, friends, and community groups. Encourage others to make their homes bird-friendly, multiplying the impact of your efforts.


Get involved with a “Lights Out” initiative: “Lights Out” initiatives are becoming more popular in U.S. cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Houston. Birds’ migration patterns can be severely impacted by the all-night glow of street lights and office buildings. These initiatives aim to reduce non-essential light, especially during peak migration period. Google “Lights Out and [insert your city]” to see what measures are already in place, and where there is room for improvement. [5]

By making use of these ideas, we can each contribute to creating an environment where the beauty of bird life is not only admired but also protected. 


Thanks for caring about animals!




P.S: We’re working for a world where no being is born just to suffer. Our mission is to end the number one cause of suffering and death for dogs and cats -- overpopulation -- by developing a permanent-lasting birth control cookie that will only need to be eaten one time, and it will in effect spay or neuter -- without surgery.


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Dot, a Pilot Pup rescued by 600 Million Dogs


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