With hundreds of little dots adorning the Chattahoochee Nature Center, in Roswell, birds will no longer run into the windows and kill themselves. The project is thanks to a partnership between the CNC and the Atlanta Audubon Society, with a grant from the Disney Conservation Fund.
The dots are a special “CollidEscape” film that reduces the transparency of the glass, prevent bird-window strikes. Each spring and fall, millions of birds migrate between wintering grounds in Central and South America, the southern U.S., or the Caribbean to breeding grounds in North America. Using the sun, stars and earth’s magnetism as a guide, birds migrate primarily at night to avoid predators and take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Sadly, many never arrive at their destination due to a man-made problem —building collisions. Blinded by night-time lights or confused by day-time reflections of trees and grass in shiny windows, many birds become disoriented and fly into the buildings, ending their journeys and their lives prematurely.
“Up to one billion birds die a year, by running into windows,” said Adam Betuel, director of conservation with the Atlanta Audubon Society. “The main cause is reflection or transparent glass.”
Over the past two years, more than 800 birds of 87 different species have been collected in the Atlanta area due to collisions.
The CollideEscape film is applied to a building’s windows and act as a way of breaking up any reflection, allowing birds to avoid a collision, saving them.
“This building will be a lot safer for birds and hopefully will educate the people who pass through,” said Betuel.
In 2017, the Atlanta Audubon Society was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) as part of the Fund’s focus on reversing the decline of threatened wildlife around the world. The conservation grant recognizes Atlanta Audubon’s efforts to reduce bird-building collisions through Project Safe Flight Atlanta, a program to monitor birds and collects data on deaths by collisions.
Atlanta Audubon is working with the Chattahoochee Nature Center to install CollidEscape on each of the Discovery Center’s 78 windows, with funding received from the DCF. CNC was chosen as a demonstration building 1) because they were experiencing bird collisions and 2) CNC has high visitation presenting a unique opportunity to educate the public on steps they can take to reduce bird-window collisions at home.
“This effort showcases bird conservation practices. Our visitors can see CollideEscape in practice and see how they can help birds in their homes as well,” said Alicia Evans, CNC visitor experience manager.
The goal of Project Safe Flight is to further understand bird-building collisions in Atlanta and to learn what species are prone to window collisions, how many birds are affected, and what parts of town are problematic. Atlanta Audubon is actively working with building managers, citizens and other partners to make Atlanta a more bird safe city. Volunteers monitor a number of sites at private businesses, multiple schools, university campuses, and government buildings. Project Safe Flight runs from late March to mid-May each spring and again from mid-August to mid-November in the fall.
The Mission of the Chattahoochee Nature Center is to connect people with nature. Learn more at www.chattnaturecenter.org.