Cornell University (NY) is going to the birds – saving them, that is. A group of staff, alumni, students and volunteers have been working to retrofit windows on several campus buildings so birds don’t fly into them, getting injured or dying as a result. The group launched an initiative to install cords on windows and tape on bus shelters to help local birds see the glass and break up reflections. “Birds hit glass when they’re fooled by trees or skies reflected there, so the trick is to break up reflections,” said Miyoko Chu, senior director of science communications at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who is leading the window retrofitting initiative.
Windows are the third-largest human-caused source of mortality for birds after habitat loss and cats, according to the Cornell Chronicle. Cornell adopted new bird friendly design and construction standards last August to help guide new construction, including structures, landscaping and window designs.
“The great thing about Cornell is that when we started talking to people in facilities, and when we started talking to the Cornell architects, they were all really positive about this,” said Christine Sheppard ’71, Ph.D. ’77, director of the Glass Collisions Program at the American Bird Conservancy, who has been working with Chu on the initiative to retrofit campus windows.
Learn more about Cornell’s bird-saving initiatives here.