Sepi Ghafouri

Migratory Birds

Glass windows are a deadly threat to migratory birds.

One of the biggest threats to birds during spring and fall migration is the possibility of colliding with glass windows. The estimated yearly death toll from window collisions is horrific — and unacceptable:

  • 1 million in the Greater Toronto Area
  • 25 million in Canada
  • 1 billion in North America

Why Birds Strike Windows

Birds strike buildings during the day and night. During the day, especially at first light when daytime migrants are most active, birds will fly towards window glass that reflects the sky or nearby trees or shrubs.

Mistaking these reflections for habitat, they collide with the glass, resulting in injury or death. At night, extensive lighting of tall structures can also be a fatal attraction, causing nighttime migrants to hit buildings.

How You Can Help

Tips from Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) Canada:

Government Action Needed

Ontario Nature has been working with FLAP Canada and Ecojustice to address this issue through public education and advocacy since 2010. We are asking the Government of Ontario to enact regulatory measures to deal with light reflected from the windows of tall commercial buildings.

Legal action resulted in a 2013 Ontario court ruling that deemed light reflected from building windows to be a “contaminant” under the Environmental Protection Act.The Province has yet to act on the court findings.

Stay up-to-date on the latest migratory bird issues by joining our Advocates for Nature e-news community.

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