UBC Undergraduate Research

Reducing bird-window collisions at a botanical garden : The effect of bird-friendly artwork and dirty windows Crews, Christie


With up to 42 million dying each year due to window strikes, evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation strategies is a must to protect vulnerable bird species. One of the most effective strategies is the application of decals to the outside surface of a window. Commercial products, such as Feather Friendly® bird deterrent film, use a grid pattern of small dots that helps reduce visual obstruction for humans. However, bird-friendly artwork has been suggested as a strategy that combines effectiveness and aesthetic appeal, but has not been critically evaluated. Dirty windows too, are suggested as being effective, but little research exists to support these claims. This study performed bird collision monitoring at the UBC Botanical Garden before and after the application of bird-friendly artwork to the Pavilion, and during a time where dirt was allowed to accumulate on the windows at the Garden Centre. Monitoring was performed 4 times a week for 8 weeks during February and March. Building facades were searched for collision evidence, such as carcasses, feather piles, and feather smears. The reduction in collisions was dramatic; collisions decreased from 11 to 0 at the Pavilion, and from 84 to 3 at the Garden Centre. The results of this study support the use of bird-friendly artwork and dirty windows as management strategies for bird collisions, but also support student engagement in identifying collision hotspots and informing mitigation. Continued monitoring of the garden is suggested. Future research is needed to quantify the level of dirt on a window and how that effects collision risk, as well as research into public perception of dirty windows. Overall, the results of this study are promising for the future of birds at the UBC Botanical Garden. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International