Thursday, September 27, 2007

Birds collide with airplanes, too

Birds don't hit just buildings. - the site of the National Wildlife Research Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

The primary focus of research at the NWRC Sandusky, OH, field station concerns wildlife hazards to aircraft. Commercial jet aircraft traffic has shown a dramatic increase. Wildlife on and near airports create a hazard to operating aircraft. Wildlife strikes can cause severe damage to aircraft, human injuries, and loss of life. Between 1990 and 2003, 52,000 wildlife strikes were reported to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); 10% had an adverse effect on the aircraft or flight operation. The estimated cost of wildlife strikes to U.S. civil aviation 1990-2003 was almost $500 million per year. Internationally, the commercial aviation industry incurs a loss of over $1.2 billion annually from wildlife strikes with aircraft. U.S. military losses are estimated to be over $100 million annually. As one dramatic example, the U.S. Air Force lost 24 airmen and a $190 million AWACS plane in 1995 after the aircraft hit geese on take-off at Elmendorf Air Force Base, AL.

Birds can see magnetic field

This article says that structures in bird eyes help bird navigate. You might say that birds see the magnetic field of the earth

Building Guidelines

NYC Audubon has been monitoring the deaths of birds in collisions with buildings in Project Safe Flight or "PSF." New New York City Audubon has published a pamphlet of building guidelines. Here's the announcement from the current issue of The Urban Audubon, published by NYC Audubon. The URL for the on-line version of the pamphlet appears in the "Bird Sites" section of this blog.

"PSF helped building owners find solutions fortroublesome sites. With the support of the Bird-Safe Glass Working Group, NYC Audubon members, government agencies, and foundations, Bird-Safe Building Guide-lines (Guidelines) has been published byNew York City Audubon (online at The 55-page document written by Hillary Brown and Steven Caputo of New Civic Works and Kate Orff of SCAPE is aimed at architects, designers, developers, building managers, and policy makers, yet it is comprehensible and useful to all readers. Its suggestions are meant either for new buildings or for retrofitting existing ones and go far beyond bird-safe glass."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Daniel Klem - Window Collisions

Daniel Klem is a leading expert on collisions of birds with windows.

He published "Bird-Window Collisions" in 1989 in Wilson Bulletin 101(4):606-620. Here is the URL: All birds are vulnerable, because they fail to recognize glass as a barrier. Birds that fly into windows are not necessarily unhealthy or otherwise impaired specimens.

Bird strikes - four-story glass walkway

The study is Bird Mortality at a Glassed-In Walkway in Washington State, by R.E. Johnson and G. E. Hudson. It was published in 1976 in Western Birds, 7:99-107.

The most common bird in the study between May 1968 to March 1970 (28 birds out of 155) was the pine siskin,, a small finch with a brown-streaked body. American Robin (turdus migratorius - and yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia - were next most common, with 9 each out of 155 specimens.

Migration seasons, especially fall, were most lethal for birds. The location in this study was a glass walkway that does not reflect but seems completely transparent. An invisible barrier.

Glassed in Walkways

Johnson, R.E. and G. E. Hudson, 1976. Bird Mortality at a glassed in Walkway in Washington State.

Mortality was greatest during migration seasons, especially fall. The location in this study was a glass walkway that does not reflect but seems completely transparent. An invisible barrier.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bird Conservation Alliance National Meeting

Bird Conservation Alliance National Meeting - Register
October 11, 2007 Agenda
The Nature Conservancy World Wide Office in Arlington, VA

The Bird Conservation Alliance is a network of organizations with a shared interest in the conservation of wild birds. Through the Alliance, millions of birdwatchers and concerned citizens are united with conservation professionals, scientists, and educators to benefit bird conservation efforts. The Bird-Safe Glass Foundation is a member.