Bird Deterrent Window Films

Bird Deterrent Window Films: Save Birds by Preventing Collisions

In our modern cities filled with reflective glass buildings, we often overlook the impact our architectural choices have on wildlife, particularly birds. Countless birds perish yearly due to collisions with windows they cannot see. At Access Protection, we’ve committed ourselves to providing solutions that safeguard these birds while maintaining the aesthetic integrity of urban designs. In this article, I discuss why bird deterrent window films are essential and how they function within the legal and environmental frameworks.

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What Are Bird Deterrent Window Films?

Bird deterrent window films are specially designed coatings applied to the exterior of windows to prevent birds from colliding with them. These films are typically marked with patterns that are perceptible to birds, helping them recognize the presence of a solid barrier and avoid impact. The effectiveness of these films stems from their ability to disrupt the reflections or transparency of glass that birds often mistake for open air. This simple yet innovative solution plays a crucial role in urban wildlife conservation by reducing the high number of bird fatalities associated with building collisions.

The Need for Bird Deterrent Films in Canada (and Everywhere)

The growing number of skyscrapers in urban areas and the transformation of natural landscapes into cities are creating major risks for bird populations. Windows, especially those that are transparent or highly reflective, represent deadly barriers that birds often fail to detect. Mistaking these windows for open air, due to reflections from the sky or foliage, birds frequently collide with them. It is estimated that these incidents result in the death of millions of birds every year in Canada.

In addition to species that remain in Canada year-round, many other migratory species are likely to collide with windows. These species travel thousands of kilometres every year, using four major migratory corridors: Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic. This means that many Canadian cities are likely to contribute to the growing number of bird collisions every year.

With dense urban structures and location along major migratory routes, cities like Toronto experience a disproportionate number of these tragic events. More than twenty bird species are threatened by collisions with building windows in the Greater Toronto Area. The white-throated sparrow, the golden-crowned kinglet, and the ovenbird are the three main victims of these fatal collisions. This alarming situation highlights the urgent need for effective bird deterrent window films.

Effectiveness of Bird Deterrent Films

Bird deterrent window films are specifically designed to prevent bird collisions with windows. They do so by making glass visible to birds without sacrificing the building’s aesthetic or the clarity of the view from the inside. The films can incorporate various patterns that are visible to birds, thus alerting them to the presence of a barrier. This simple yet effective approach not only saves birds but also prevents property damage, which can be particularly costly in taller buildings where window replacement is a major ordeal.

In a study conducted at the Alaksen National Wildlife Area in Delta, British Columbia, researchers monitored bird-window collisions on two buildings from 2013 to 2018. After two years of monitoring with untreated windows, one building was retrofitted with Feather Friendly® markers, which reduced bird collisions by 95%. These findings highlight the effectiveness of visual markers and specialized glass treatments in significantly lowering the risk of bird fatalities due to window collisions.

The following video shows the timelapse installation of Feather Friendly® markers on the Wellington Cable Car Summit terminal building in New Zealand.

Legislative Actions to Protect Birds

Understanding the gravity of this issue, various regions have adopted legislation aimed at reducing bird fatalities. Toronto, for instance, has been at the forefront with the Toronto Green Standard, which requires new developments to include bird-safe windows. Nationally, the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Species at Risk Act (SARA) form the cornerstone of Canada’s strategy to protect avian life, providing robust legal frameworks that not only preserve bird populations but also serve as a model for integrating biodiversity conservation into urban planning globally.

These efforts underscore a growing recognition of the need for sustainable architectural practices that harmonize with the natural environment. This proactive approach is essential not only for wildlife protection but also for encouraging a broader adoption of environmentally responsible building practices worldwide.

Environmental & Cost Conscious

Incorporating bird deterrent window films not only protects bird life but also offers significant economic benefits. The installation of these types of window films mitigates the risks of damages, preventing the potential for costly window repairs—particularly in skyscrapers where replacing high-rise windows can be both challenging and expensive.

This proactive measure also helps comply with legislation such as Toronto’s Green Standard, which requires bird-friendly windows for new construction of certain heights. By opting for these films, you not only protect birds from collisions but also reduce the likelihood of costly window repairs.

Feather Friendly: Birds’ Best friend

Incorporating bird-friendly window films into our buildings is more than just a legal obligation—it represents a proactive approach to conservation and a dedication to co-existing peacefully with nature. Access Protection uses Feather Friendly® bird deterrent window films renowned for their effectiveness in preventing bird collisions with glass surfaces of both residential and commercial buildings.

Feather Friendly® provides a variety of patterns that are scientifically proven to be visible to birds, thus reducing the risk of collision. The films are designed to integrate seamlessly with building aesthetics, preserving views while ensuring safety for birds. This brand is also backed by significant endorsements and partnerships with bird conservation organizations, reinforcing its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Bird Deterrent window film applications

Residential and Commercial Projects. Image Source: Feather Friendly

The experts at Access Protection can help you select and install bird deterrent solutions tailored to your building’s specific needs and styles. Our films enhance, rather than detract from, the architectural beauty of the structures they protect. We integrate these solutions seamlessly into your building’s design, making them a valuable addition both functionally and aesthetically.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bird Deterrent Window Films

Yes, some types of window glass are more dangerous for birds than others. Highly reflective and transparent glass are particularly hazardous because they can mirror the surrounding environment or appear invisible, leading birds to fly into them. Tinted or colored glass that still maintains a degree of transparency can also be misleading for birds. In contrast, glass treated with visible patterns or textures that disrupt reflections is less likely to cause bird collisions.

No, making windows bird-friendly does not have to ruin the view. Modern bird deterrent films are designed to be minimally intrusive while effective. These films can be designed with subtle patterns, like fine lines or small dots spaced in a way that is visible to birds but largely unnoticeable to humans.

Yes and no. Building height can have an impact on the risk of collision with birds, but the relationship is complex. While taller buildings can present risks due to their extensive use of glass and reflective surfaces, particularly if they cross the flight paths of migratory birds, the majority of bird collisions actually occur at lower levels, between ground and treetop height. This is because most bird activity takes place in this zone. In addition, low-rise and residential buildings, which are more common than high-rise buildings, are frequent sites of bird collisions. These structures are generally located in environments where bird activity is more intense. Thus, the risk of bird collisions is influenced more by factors such as the building's location, reflectivity and footprint than by its height alone.

Protect Birds with Bird Deterrent Window Films

The expansion of urban environments demands greater responsibility to minimize our impact on wildlife. Bird deterrent window films are a critical tool in this endeavour. They illustrate how innovative technology and thoughtful design can combine to solve ecological problems and preserve the lives of thousands, if not millions, of birds. By choosing to implement these solutions, building owners and managers protect birds and contribute to the broader goal of biodiversity preservation.

I invite property owners and managers to recognize the impact of their decisions on local wildlife and to consider bird-friendly window films as an integral part of their building design and management strategies. For those interested in discussing how these films can be implemented in your projects, please contact us. Together, we can find a solution that meets your needs while protecting our feathered friends.