Reducing bird-glass collisions: Testing patterned glass in a novel flight tunnel

William R Haffey, Fordham University


Bird collisions with glass are a major environmental problem in North America, resulting in approximately 1 billion fatalities every year. Birds in flight are unable to perceive glass as obstructed airspace, as glass can either reflect or transmit the image of natural scenery. One common method to reduce bird-glass collisions is to deter birds from glass using a pattern in or on the pane, in order to indicate its impassibility. One method to test the effectiveness of patterned glass is the use of a `flight tunnel" in which a bird flies the length of a tunnel to both a clear and a patterned piece of glass. The bird can then "exit" through either pane of glass. Fewer birds are expected to exit through the patterned pane. My study tested the efficacy of a new type of artificially illuminated flight tunnel. My results were consistent with those from studies testing the same patterns in another flight tunnel. Additionally, the presence of UV light was related to the number of birds that avoided Ornilux Mikado, a pattern that relies on UV reflective material to be visible to birds. Finally, different flight types within the tunnel did not vary with the patterned glass tested. Tunnel testing using an artificial light source is a promising method for determining the effectiveness of patterned glass designed to reduce bird-glass collisions.

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Recommended Citation

Haffey, William R, "Reducing bird-glass collisions: Testing patterned glass in a novel flight tunnel" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI1569130.