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

Just Posted

Saanich police used a drone to investigate a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal West Saanich Road crash

Driver who died veered across center line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Realty/Submitted)
Sidney asked to show patience about identity of would-be warehouse operator

President of York Realty says nobody is trying to hide anything

Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

More domestic violence, less property crime and distracted driving compared to end of 2020

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry could have lessons for other provinces: lawyer

4 reports concluded the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime and the drug trade impacted the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Most Read