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Tuesday, February 7 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
Technical Session. Bird-Window Collisions: A Comparison of Migration Phenology and Collision Rates on a University Campus in Indiana

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AUTHORS: Sarah E. Fischer, Kamal Islam - Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Windows can be problematic for birds because of their reflectivity. Birds have difficulty in detecting glass and often collide with windows. Though it is difficult to estimate exact numbers, these collisions may account for up to one billion avian mortalities in the U.S. each year. Many buildings on university campuses can be fatally harmful to a diverse array of species. We conducted research over a two-year period at twelve buildings on the Ball State University campus in Muncie, Indiana, to compare migration phenology, determine which species and families are most affected, and determine which windows are the most problematic in terms of collision rates. From August 2014 - May 2016, 158 carcasses representing 46 species from 18 families were collected. The highest mortality rates occurred in the Parulidae (n=41), Turdidae (n=38), and Emberizidae (n=27) families. Overall, collision rates were highest during fall migration, but the highest monthly rate occurred in May 2016. There were three “hotspots” on campus that caused the highest collision rates: Worthen Arena (n=39), Bracken Library (n=38), and the Architecture Building (n=38). We plan to use our results to recommend methods that can reduce collision rates at the most problematic “hotspots” on campus. Additionally, these data can provide future insight for architects to help promote bird-safe buildings and communities.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 4:40pm - 5:00pm CST
Arbor I/II