Target: Cindy Margulis, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society
Goal: Praise the precautions taken to ensure that no bird unnecessarily dies from crashing into a window
It is estimated that over 100 million birds a year in North America alone die or are injured from crashing into a window. Thankfully, a program has developed in San Francisco that could save countless birds. According to the American Bird Conservancy, crashing into windows ranks higher as a cause of bird death than wind turbines or cell towers. Although it is unknown if birds fly more into suburban houses or high rise buildings, San Francisco’s City Planning Department is studying the birds’ behavior to determine what measures need to be taken to protect the birds.
The program – made possible by he United States Fish and Wildlife Service Grant and the city itself – will require participants to check their house at least once a week for any dead or injured birds. Then, the participants will keep track of the information on a city planning website. That way, the City Planning Department will be able to know which areas pose the most danger to birds. As an incentive for the volunteers who agree to participate in the program, a decal reading “Bird-Friendly Resident” will enter them in a raffle with a variety of prizes. In addition, participants can receive advice from the city on how to reduce bird crashes and subsidies for their pains to change their windows. Insect screens, film, strings, or fritted glass covering a window can help a bird realize that there is no way to get to the other side.
Another way to ensure a safe flight for the birds is San Francisco’s Lights Out Campaign, urging people to turn their lights off or cover their lights, as these lights interfere with some of the birds’ migration patterns. The city has issued requirements, especially for commercial buildings on the coastline, in bird pathways, or by parks, to keep lights out in order to heed for less bird collisions.
Please show your appreciation of the efforts to end the suffering of millions of birds.
Dear Ms. Margulis,
Thank you for contributing your leadership to the program in San Francisco that strives to understand and to prevent the death of countless birds each year. Simple fixes can save so many lives.
Please continue to head this program and encourage other cities to adopt the same methods.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PA via Mirror