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PROJECT SAFE PASSAGE

The Washtenaw Audubon Society supports Project Safe Passage:

Millions of migratory birds die each year due to collisions with buildings. Because most songbirds migrate at night, lights from the urban areas and these buildings can disrupt the birds’ navigation system. The birds are attracted to the light and can become confused by it. Sometimes they crash into the lit buildings; other times, the lights disorient the birds and cause them to circle around and around, until they ultimately perish from exhaustion. Project Safe Passage and the Washtenaw Audubon Society asks residents, owners and managers of buildings that are five stories or higher to help birds survive by turning off lights (or drawing curtains/ blinds) above the fourth floor between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. every night during Spring and Fall.

The critical migration danger periods for Spring and Fall migrations are:

March 15 through May 31 and

August 15 though October 31. 

Research in Chicago has shown that turning out lights in one well-lit building during the specified hours saved 8,000 birds annually, decreasing the number of dead birds by 80%. Turning out the lights saves energy and money. In one New York City building, turning off lights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. saved over $21,000 in annual costs.

Property owners of tall buildings are encouraged to join the Safe Passages Great Lakes efforts by turning off their lights or closing window shades and drapes at night. Individuals who live or work at night in buildings with five floors or higher and who wish to minimize fatal light problems can also help.

  • Use blinds and curtains to conceal lighted areas if working after 11 p.m. during Safe Passages Great Lakes days;
  • Use desk lamps and task lighting to minimize perimeter lighting;
  • Re-schedule night work, such as arrange for custodial services in tall buildings to work from the top down so the upper floor lights are off from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. (dawn); and
  • Establish interior working areas for night activities.

Watch this YouTube Video from FLAP

 

 

 

 

WHERE/WHAT TO BUY?

Local stores stock various products, including decals and window feeders, and can provide advice tailord to your specific office or residential situation.

Wild Birds Unlimited - 2208 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor (734-665-7427)

Wild Bird Center - 2625 Plymouth Road Ann Arbor (734-213-2473)

Other Window Safety Products

CollidEscape - Removable vinyl film that adheres to the exterior surface of glass.

Birdscreen - Removable fiberglass screening that is attached to the exterior surface of glass.

WindowAlert Decals - Four inch decals that reflect UV light; use 1 per 3x3 foot area on the exterior surface of glass.

Pebeo Arti’Stick Window Color - Paint that dries as a removable decal on the exterior surface of glass.

White Tempura Paint - At local art supply stores

Ribbons/Banners/Mobiles/Wind Socks - Craft and fabric stores or learn more about Wing Chimes at www.flap.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOIN OUR MONITORING EFFORT!

The Washtenaw Audubon Society seeks volunteers to join our effort to locate and monitor buildings and other structures which pose particular problems for birds in migration. If you live or work in or near a tall building or a building whose location or design presents a hazard to migratory birds, we invite you to join our effort to reduce casualties at that location. If you can give us an hour one morning a week before you go to work, we can use your help! Please contact: Will Weber at safepassage@washtenawaudubon.org

BUT: What do I do if I find bird that has been injured or killed due to a window collision?

The first aid guidance from the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors provides excellent general information about how to help a bird or to collect dead bird.

BUT the phone number in our area you should call if the bird is still alive is :

THE BIRD CENTER OF WASHTENAW COUNTY
(734) 761-9640

Click below for a form which can be printed and completed to document specific casualties.

Safe Passage Report Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Here are some links to what others are doing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You Can Help By Preventing Bird-Window Collisions

Birds cannot see normal glass. When birds in your yard are startled by sudden awareness of a predator like a cat dog or hawk; by a loud noise; or other perceived threat they seek rapid escape or cover. Window reflections of outside vegetation or visible house plants suggests a safe flight path ahead and bang! Here are a few things you can do to eliminate bird deaths due to household window collisions.

  1. Define or alter the surface of the glass with markers.
    1. Mount window feeders
    2. Apply decals (many types available)
    3. Apply faint soap, paint or yellow magic marker lines on the glass
    4. Use fretted, flat or non-reflecting glass when replacing windows.
  2. Reduce the attractiveness of the indoor environment as an escape path
    1. Close shades or hang blinds
    2. Turn off lights or close drapes after 10 pm in migration season
    3. Move house plants away from windows
    4. Eliminate appearance of a flight path through the house via a window or door opposite problem window
    5. Place furniture or other objects close to window
  3. Reduce attractiveness of window flight path
    1. Place hanging feeders, baths very close to window surface
    2. Place netting or screening over window
    3. Place vegetation, streamers or other objects in front of window
  4. Create alternative escape and cover habitat
    1. Plant dense shrubs or other cover beneath windows
    2. Place feeders where birds can easily see a predator approaching
  5. Keep cats and dogs away from feeder area at all times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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