Author: Deborah Kenley, Senior Coordinator of Greening Corporate Grounds at Credit Valley Conservation
Three billion dollars is a lot to lose. But what about three billion birds? Studies estimate that North America has lost nearly three billion birds over the past 50 years primarily to urban and agricultural expansion. While habitat loss is the overall leading cause of bird population decline, bird-building collisions are the leading cause of death for migratory birds.
Birds have economic and recreational value. Bird watching activities generate billions of dollars for the Canadian economy each year. But most importantly, birds are critical for food production and biodiversity. They help with seed dispersal, pollination and insect control, and they’re beautiful to listen to and look at.
Luckily, there are easy and effective steps you can take to ensure your workplace is bird safe to reduce fatality rates and slow the rapid decline in bird populations.
Make your windows bird-safe
Birds can’t see glass. But they do see the reflections of trees, shrubs and sky mirrored in building windows. These reflected landscapes cause over a billion bird-window collisions each year in North America. Reducing enticing reflections on windows can be as simple as adding a 10 cm x 5 cm adhesive marker dot grid to the outside of your windows. These dots are nearly imperceptible from inside because the backings are black. You can also apply pre-made window films or purchase windows with bird-friendly etched glass or UV coatings. Etchings can be custom designed for aesthetic appeal or to include your logo. You can take or request a building assessment and learn more at flap.org.
By creating more bird-friendly habitat for food and shelter, we can reduce bird population decline. Start by planting trees and creating native plant gardens. You can use Credit Valley Conservation’s (CVC) plant lists for breeding and migratory birds to choose bird-friendly plants for your property by visiting cvc.ca/nativeplants or contact CVC directly for a free property assessment and action plan at [email protected].
Build bird-friendly buildings
The Canadian Standards Association just released a new Bird-Friendly Building Design Standard created with ornithologists, architects, conservation authorities, glass manufacturers and industry advocates. The standard provides guidance on design strategies to reduce bird strikes and prevent trapping birds within structures like atriums and grates. The standard isn’t restricted to new builds. Existing structures can be retrofitted.
Learn more about how you can build a more sustainable and bird-friendly business. Request a free Sustainable Landscaping Assessment and Action Plan from Credit Valley Conservation’s Greening Corporate Grounds program. Visit cvc.ca/gcg to learn more or contact Deborah Kenley at 905-670-1615 ext 439.
 Visit https://www.featherfriendly.com/csa-building-standards to read the new standard.