A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds


Modern architecture loves glass. But glass also kills tens of millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Now, researchers are trying to learn what birds can see, in an attempt to build better, more bird-friendly buildings. 


Hear the full story at NPR.og: http://n.pr/R4ehsr

Experts say glass buildings kill millions of birds every year; scientists at Powdermill Avian Research Center are studying ways to help prevent this. Here, a volunteer tags a hooded warbler in Rector, Penn., in May. info
Luke DeGroote, the banding program coordinator, looks for birds trapped in fine-meshed mist nets. Nearly 70 nets cover a 24.7-acre area at Powdermill; they need to be checked every 30 to 40 minutes. info
DeGroote collects a gray catbird caught in one of the nets. The 39-foot-by-8-foot nets are designed to safely capture birds. info
Christine Sheppard (left) and her assistant, Cara Menzel, switch the glass panes. On of the panes of glass has a pattern of lines painted on the inside that reflects ultraviolet light. The birds can see it but it is barely detectable by the human eye. info
Menzel prepares an experiment to test how birds react to various types of glass. The birds are placed at one end of the tunnel, then fly toward the glass panes at the other end. A fine mesh net catches the birds before they c info
Menzel looks into the tunnel to see if the bird flew toward the regular glass or the glass with the pattern. This experiment will help to determine which glass is better to use in bird-friendly architecture. info
DeGroote and Blaine Cernes, a banding assistant, enter the data they've collected into a database that will help monitor how well the avian populations are doing in the wild. info
DeGroote examines the wing of a yellow warbler. info
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