A Risk Management Perspective on Bird Mortality


No cat-blogging today so as to leave enough room on the server to handle comments. Window-crash bird mortality is our focus, with the intent of providing some pespective on the near urban-myth status that has been attained regarding wind-tubine caused bird mortality. Historically and presently, the biggest piece of the dead bird pie is, without doubt, attributable to window-crashes. From Audubon Magazine: "Millions of birds perish every year from crashing into glass windows...such small glass kills can add up to big trouble, believes ornithologist Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, Pennsylvania". Between 100 million and 1 billion birds die in glass collisions every year in North America alone, Klem estimates. At the very least, that's an average of one bird a year slamming into each of the roughly 100 million homes, apartment buildings, office towers, schools, and storefronts that dot the American landscape. "Glass is one of the world's great bird killers," rivaled only by habitat destruction and perhaps cats, says the blunt-spoken, 57-year-old ornithologist". OK we didn't say "cats", he did. Returning to a dose of pragmatism, Audubon provides some nice tips on what you can do to reduce window-caused bird mortality at your residence.

Thinking ahead, it's hard to imagine a self-respecting "green home designer" or LEED-certified building developer cultivating a TreeHugging brand while overlooking this issue. So let's get on with it! We won't listen to any excuses.

It's equally hard to take seriously those who actively oppose wind farm projects on the basis of prospective bird mortality without having first done everything they can to their own homes and businesses to reduce existing mortality rates. That goes for a person living in a mobile home on a mountain side as much as those with "summer places" along Cape Cod.

We'd really like to see the window manufacturers become part of the solution. See the Audubon link for some of the possibilities.

And what's that 'old saw' about People Who Live In Glass Houses? TreeHuggers: lets' be the first to save some birds.