Issues, Summaries, and Solutions

Science Cafe’ lecture

On 12 February 2019, I was invited to deliver one of the monthly Science Cafe’ lectures at OSU. This is a decent introduction to the phenomenon and some solutions to it, with an emphasis on my nearly 10-year monitoring effort at one building on the OSU campus. The talk includes some insights into life history of Nearctic-Neotropical migrants and addresses my contention that window collisions represent additive rather than compensatory mortality.

Check out the entire video here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 7.01.27 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-13 at 6.09.09 PM

Here’s an accompanying video I produced of all the birds that died – with locations indicated – at the Noble Research Center in 2017.

Here’s the presentation itself:  O’ConnellGlassCasualtiesScienceCafeFeb2019

Published Literature – This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good start.

O’Connell 2001

Hager et al. 2017


Loss et al. 2014

Loss et al. 2012

Hager et al. 2012

Klem et al. 2009

Klem 2009

Hager et al. 2008

Klem 2008

Veltri and Klem 2005

Additional Literature – mostly gray literature sources and summaries for general consumption:

DASNR Research News article, May 2015.

Presentation to the joint Wilson Ornithological Society/Association of Field Ornithologists annual meeting, May 2014, at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island:


Summary poster presentation to the annual meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society, March 2013, at The College of William and Mary in Virginia:


Mar. 2016.  Here’s a fairly comprehensive treatise on window collisions and building solutions form our friends at the American Bird Conservancy.  I have been consistently impressed with ABC for tackling this issue head-on.


Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 12.24.46 PM



TheGrapevine35 – includes article on how I got started on this issue

What are “trapped” birds?

ABC collisions_flyer: “You can save birds from flying into windows”

Bird mortality in Canada. (4 October 2013)

6-month summary, July–December 2010. (2 Jan. 2011)

Identification challenges. (15 Nov. 2010)

October 2010 summary. (31 Oct. 2010)

September 2010 summary. (1 Oct. 2010)

Bird-safe glass? (8 Sep. 2010)

First full year of mortality monitoring. (3 Sep. 2010)

American Bird Conservancy brochure on window collisions. (14 Apr. 2010)

Summary for autumn 2009. (30 Dec. 2009)

Solutions for window collisions. (3 Nov. 2009)

Commentary on scavenging rates. (17 Sep. 2009)

Products Designed to Reduce Collisions

Acopian BirdSavers


Bird Watching Daily article

ABC’s “Bird Tape” at the Noble Research Center

Aug. 2016.  It’s time.  Now entering my 7th year of monitoring collision mortality at the Noble Research Center, I finally have the go-ahead to begin window treatments at the NRC and assess their efficacy in a real-world field trial.

In collaboration with Lauren Horner and Matt Webb of the Powdermill Nature Reserve’s Window Strike Project, the American Bird Conservancy has provided their “bird tape” to treat windows at the NRC. (Lauren’s the one who actually packed the box and put it in the mail!) To match recent work in Powdermill’s flight tunnel, I’ll be applying vertical strips of the 2-cm tape with 10 cm between strips.

Treating the NRC would be a huge job if the objective was to treat all the glass. I’ve opted for a test of the west alcoves that have accounted for a consistently large proportion of fatalities in a relatively discrete area. For example, check out how busy they’ve been this spring and summer:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 11.02.13 AM

The west alcoves provide the combination of the most consistent problem area in the most easily-treatable situation.  We might eventually treat the main north entrance (the biggest cluster of red dots in the image above) but that would be a much bigger job.

Of course, my university doesn’t let people just stick things on windows.  I’m grateful to Adrian Self from the office of Facilities Management here at OSU for giving me permission to modify the appearance of a university building.  That’s a big deal. It all begins with Part 1 – the cleaning:

Even just working on the panes that are just above the height of my head, this was a big job. Window washing occasionally looks fun, but it gets old after about 2 minutes.

Okay, I’ve completed part 1.  Now it’s on to part 2 – test application . . .

Aug. 2016 – Part 2: Test application.

Okay, now I know that washing the windows is the easy part!

I’ve completed my first panel, and it took almost two hours.  My lines are only kind of straight and my beautiful window is now a landscape of my fingerprint smudges.  But, that should be one less window pane where a bird might meet its end, so it’s totally worth it.

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