Group plans “hard to ignore” bird display at city hall

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Safe Wings Ottawa is setting up a display in the main corridor of city hall to bring awareness to bird window collisions

Display of birds collected in 2014 at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Safe Wings Ottawa is hoping to shock people in order to bring awareness to the problem.
COURTESY SAFE WINGS OTTAWA Display of birds collected in 2014 at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Safe Wings Ottawa is hoping to shock people in order to bring awareness to the problem.

By: Ashley Moffatt For Metro

Safe Wings Ottawa, a group dedicated to the reduction of bird deaths due to window collisions, plans to set up a display of dead birds at city hall on Tuesday.

It is the second year that the group will display the birds in city hall’s main corridor. [CORRECTION: It is the first time the display is being held at City Hall. The 2014 display was held at the Canadian Museum of Nature.]

“We thought it was a good idea to do it at city hall because councillors are walking by there, city staff, the public,” said Anouk Hoedeman, the group’s co-ordinator. “It’s a busy place. So it’s a good to get people’s attention.”

Hoedeman said the shock value of the dead birds is part of their strategy to get people to notice the issue.

“It’s hard to ignore,” said Hoedeman. “It’s a good way to get people’s attention and in the process educate them about the problem.”

Hoedeman said that they’ve documented 13,000 1,300 cases of bird collisions, but that number is probably on the lower end of the scale.

“Its hard to come up with really firm numbers because of scavengers and predators,” Hoedeman said. “We estimate that we find maybe five to 10 per cent of the birds colliding at the buildings. We can only monitor so many buildings and we’re only there so many times, we miss a lot of them. We estimate that the number of birds colliding here in Ottawa must be at least half a million.”

The birds will be laid out at 11 a.m. Tuesday.