Lunch & Learn Series: Bird-friendly Building Design

HMANA Lunch & Learn Series: Identifying Raptors

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm EST

July, 2022 our Lunch & Learn series program featured Gail Walter as she discussed why glass is such a problem for birds, the differences in vision between birds and humans, and the best practices and options in preventing bird collisions.
Collisions with glass claim the lives of a billion birds a year in the United States alone. It is second only to domestic cats as a source of mortality linked directly to humans. Birds that have successfully flown thousands of miles on migration can die in seconds on a pane of glass. Glass is as dangerous for strong, healthy breeding birds as it is for sick, weak, or young birds. It is an indiscriminate killer with a serious impact on bird populations. Advances in technology have made it possible to construct tall buildings with all-glass walls, homes with huge windows, and miles of transparent noise-barriers on highways. Because of this, there has been an increase in the amount of glass used in construction and subsequently, an increased impact on birds. Perhaps surprisingly, there are more mortalities from residential buildings than commercial. However, there are many more homes than there are commercial or public buildings and most homeowners have had the experiences of a bird collision at a window.

Gail is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a retired veterinary clinical pathologist and is a volunteer with several local conservancy organizations. She is a current board member of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo. She is a member of the Kalamazoo Environmental Concerns Committee, Wild Ones Native Landscapers, and Michigan Botanical Club. Gail has been the driving force behind the Peregrine Falcon Cam in downtown Kalamazoo and serves as the liaison between the Peregrines and the building owners and tenants, the media, the DNR, and the public. Gail and her husband Tom Nehil are active hikers, cross country skiers, birders, and canoers.



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