A report estimates that one billion birds die each year across North America with countless more suffering injury after colliding with glass windows. (Black Press Media File)

A report estimates that one billion birds die each year across North America with countless more suffering injury after colliding with glass windows. (Black Press Media File)

Greater Victoria environmentalists call on municipalities to adopt bird-friendly design

An estimated one billion birds die each year across North America after colliding with glass windows

A report estimates that a billion birds die each year across North America with countless more suffering injury after colliding with glass windows.

This figure appears in a letter from Victoria Bird Strike Initiative and Safe Wings Ottawa to various municipal councils in the region including Sidney and North Saanich.

The letter written by Erin Dlabola of the Victoria Bird Strike Initiative and Willow English of Safe Wings Ottawa calls on Sidney to adopt bird-friendly building designs to curb future collisions.

“Collisions with windows are one of the biggest killers of birds in Canada, but can be avoided with simple design bylaws, such as those enacted in Toronto and other cities,” they write. A recent survey at the University of Victoria found more than 100 dead birds at only a handful of buildings, they write.

Dlabola and English said bird-friendly design does not mean getting rid of windows. “Instead, it reduces the risk windows pose by using patterned glass and exterior screens, and by using architectural features and landscape design techniques to reduce collisions,” they write.

RELATED: Eagle strike takes out power in Oak Bay

Bird-friendly design incorporated at the planning stage can be cost neutral and complement other design goals such as energy efficiency, while visual markers coupled with other products and techniques can make existing buildings safer.

This demand for changes to the urban environment appears against the backdrop of ecological changes.

According to Dlabola and English, North America has lost almost a third of its bird population in the past 50 years.

“Given its location on a major migration pathway, efforts to make the Victoria area safer for birds are essential for reversing this trend,” they write. “Greater Victoria is a birding hotspot with a large and very active community of people who strongly support bird conservation, from those with a backyard feeder to dedicated birdwatchers. In an area where tourism is a major source of revenue, protecting birds is important when they can attract visitors who travel from afar.”

Corey Newcomb, Sidney’s senior manager, long range planning, said the municipality has had bird-friendly design on its radar for a “while” with an eye toward future action. “We are intending to incorporate this concept into updated development guidelines that we will be developing over the next several months as part of a refresh of Sidney’s Official Community Plan.”

North Saanich also plans to take a look at the issue.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushes B.C. government to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY – A woman in business: Caroline Throup

Elida Peers | Contributed Who was it that said “Women in Business”… Continue reading

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read