If a picture is worth a thousand words, a live display would presumably be worth much more – maybe even a billion.

That’s the number of birds that perish each and every year across North America after colliding with the windows that adorn our homes, high rises, and commercial buildings. Here in Ottawa, the estimated number of birds killed by window strikes is pegged at roughly 250,000.

Without the ability to decipher the appearance of glass, birds are helpless while in flight and often strike windows on homes and office buildings, rarely surviving.

Much like everything else plaguing our natural world, the fortunate part is, there is much to be done and the good folks at Safe Wings are hard after it.


The Safe Wings Display

Now in their fourth straight year, organizers and volunteers with Ottawa’s Safe Wings recently held their annual display at Ottawa’s City Hall – a location known for its own fair share of bird deaths by collision.

Started as a program of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, Safe Wings is on a mission to not only uncover more about the window collision problem but to raise awareness and encourage actionable, long-term solutions.

The display – which took place on Monday – included more than 1,000 birds that were killed by window strikes. Featuring everything from small hummingbirds to large raptors such as owls and hawks, the display is a sobering visual into the damage we have inflicted on our beloved birds.

What We Can Do

There is no shortage of things we can all do to prevent this problem from spreading even more. The first step is always awareness. 

As stewards of our natural world, it is our duty to inform the masses. The fact of the matter is; too many out there do not even realize there is a problem to begin with. By getting involved in your community, contacting local businesses or joining local organizations such as Safe Wings, together the message will spread.

Additionally, the other work is to be done around the home.  We have talked at length about the effectiveness of window decals and our new line of Feather Friendly options made by 3M.  They are easy to install on any window in your home and immediately go to work saving the lives of hundreds of birds.


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