Glass is widely used in modern architecture, but did you know that these clear glasses are bird killers? It is estimated that 550 million birds die from glass each year in the United States alone, accounting for 58.2% of all bird deaths, and other causes of death include electrical wires, wildcats, vehicles, pesticides, wind turbines, airplanes, and other pollution (but so many of them don’t add up to a glass that kills more birds! U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service statistics estimate that approximately 750 million birds die each year because they fly into glass walls; in Europe, 250 million birds lose their lives each year because of glass walls.
Glass walls are causing an increasing number of bird deaths and are likely to become the biggest killer of birds. Why are glass walls so deadly to birds? This is because glass walls can make birds lose their direction. In metropolises with tall buildings, covered with glass walls, flying birds will be confused by lights and lose their sense of direction to hit the tall buildings, resulting in injury and death. Birds can not see transparent glass or glass on the landscape mirror image, in the eyes of birds glass and blue sky is no different.
Migration exacerbates the issue, as many birds are habituated to flying at night. Being attracted to the artificial light of skyscrapers in the dark causes birds to collide with each other or with buildings. For some birds, the light may disorient them, hovering in the air for hours, eventually becoming exhausted and landing in uninhabitable conditions. Birds are also easily confused by plants inside windows, mistaking them for places where they can land safely.
How to reduce the harm to flying birds by glass wall? Some bird experts suggest: by building new glass walls, these glass walls can be projected through the pattern so that birds do not dare to approach the large raptor eagle and other patterns, to reduce the chances of bird misjudgment, try to avoid birds accidentally hitting the glass wall.
Various methods have been tested to prevent bird strikes such as raptor stickers, tape, and hairy glass just to keep flying birds away from the glass, but with very little success. Birds have retinal cone cells that can see red, green, and blue in addition to the ultraviolet light they receive, and they use this part of their vision to find food and mates.
This was exploited by adding UV-reflecting material to the glass and designing it in the shape of a spider web. After trials, 66% of the birds have managed to see the glass as an obstacle instead of the sky. Although it cannot reach 100%, it is substantial progress compared to the current one.
Biological conservationist Kaitlyn Parkins, who believes the easiest step could be to control lights in urban high-rises during the peak of migrating birds. The National Audubon Society, a U.S. environmental group, is organizing a “Lights Out” program, in which Minnesota participates, to turn out lights in state-run buildings at night during migratory birds.
Besides flying birds and glass, human expansion has seriously affected the lives and survival of other animals, many animals are having difficulty living together and harmoniously with humans, and what we can do is to minimize the impact of humans on other animals.