One area ornithologist is quite literally sticking up for the birds that live and move through our region.
Working as The Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Urban Bird Conservation Coordinator, Matt Webb is dedicated to making Pittsburgh safer for birds. The danger? Something built into each of our homes, schools, and offices.
As a partner member of the Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance, we were thrilled to work alongside Matt for months to make the Frick Environmental Center safe for park birds. Birds, often viewed by visitors on rainy or snowy days through the floor-to-ceiling glass panes, were at risk of colliding with, and being injured by, these same windows.
While flying, birds are sometimes unable to distinguish whether or not they're looking at the reflection of a window (everyone can probably relate - how many times have you walked into a sliding glass door?). Through our work with Matt, we learned that nearly a billion birds die each year from colliding with windows in the United States.
Thanks to a grant obtained by the Museum, Matt and our staff implemented a super simple fix to help birds see the large windows at the Center. By sticking a window-friendly tape to the exterior of the panes, the reflection is interrupted (protecting birds), but practically unnoticeable from the inside (giving people a great view of the park).
You too can stick up for birds!
Nearly half of bird-to-window collisions take place at homes just like yours. Do you have windows at your home that are frequently hit? The Carnegie Museum of Natural History would like to help!
Right now, the Museum is offering Pittsburghers free, easy-to-use window collision mitigation products for their homes. They take almost no time to install, and help protect birds in your yard safe for years.
Here's how to get involved:
- Contact Matt Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-622-5591 to inquire about a free kit for your home.
- Choose from one of three products available: 3 rolls of Feather Friendly’s DIY tape, 3 rolls of ABC BirdTape, or 200 ft. of parachute cord to make Acopian BirdSavers. This should be enough to cover 3 to 5 regular sized windows. Detailed instructions for installation will be included with each product.
- Learn more! The above products have been tested in the flight tunnel at Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powdermill Nature Reserve, and have proven to be effective at causing birds to avoid them. Read more about Powdermill’s tunnel testing here.