It is estimated that one billion (yes, that’s one billion) birds—primarily neotropical migratory songbirds—collide with windows across North America annually. In the late 1980s, Canadian Michael Mesure began collecting and documenting birds that had collided with the windows of downtown office buildings in his native Toronto. This effort inspired him to devote himself to raising awareness of window collisions, and in 1993, he co-founded FLAP, or Fatal Light Awareness Program. Editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, Dawn Hewitt, interviews Michael, who serves as FLAP’s executive director, to learn why birds collide with windows; how North America’s topography is essentially a giant migratory corridor; and what every person who cares about birds can do during a community science event called Global Bird Rescue (September 27–October 3, 2021) to document window strikes around the world.
Are you interested in taking action to help migratory birds from colliding with windows?
- Register at globalbirdrescue.org to participate in the 2021 Global Bird Rescue Week.
- Visit birdsafe.ca to assess the threat rating of your home’s windows to birds.
- For products to retrofit existing windows with the goal of reducing window collisions, consult Flap.org and Birdsafe.ca.
This episode is sponsored by FLAP.