More than 300 frozen birds that died when they collided with glass-enclosed structures were on display Thursday at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Science by Night event.
The display is sponsored by the national organization Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) as part of an annual public awareness campaign.
The specimens are among the estimated tens of thousands of birds that died when they collided with windows and other glass structures in Ottawa last year. Volunteers collected the birds during daily patrols of buildings during spring and fall migrations. FLAP estimates that it is able to document fewer than one per cent of actual avian collisions in Ottawa.
“Instead of seeing glass as a solid surface like we do, birds are tricked by reflected trees, sun and sky, or by plants on the other side of the glass, and they try to fly through,” says Anouk Hoedeman, FLAP’s Ottawa co-ordinator, who says Ottawa needs to follow the lead of other large cities such as Toronto, New York, and Vancouver, which have introduced bird-safe building guidelines and other initiatives to reduce avian mortality.
FLAP volunteers spoke about bird-building collisions. The specimens will eventually be donated to museums and other institutions for research and educational purposes.
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