This item was published on June 3, 2023 and has been updated to reflect completion of the project in September 2023.
A huge thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help install bird strike deterrents on glass panels and railings along the Mamquam Blind Channel. During six afternoons, a dozen volunteers cleaned glass and then cut and wrangled sticky sheets in the wind. We installed 900 sq ft of material, covering most of the glass railings and the windows on one other structure. We ran out of material so we purchased more in late summer and two very dedicated volunteers finished the project. We were able to cover all the glass railings, one parking garage structure, and all but the front of the second structure.
While we were cleaning glass panels during our first afternoon at the site, we witnessed two bird strikes. Passers by commented that they had witnessed many bird strikes in the area, including one by a hawk. Birds fly into glass because they can’t see it. The glass is either reflecting the sky or vegetation around it or it’s just invisible. By adding these markers, we make the glass more visible to birds. Although the glass at ground level in the public areas has been treated, there’s still plenty of untreated glass in this area, including the glass railings of each apartment in all four buildings and the windows of businesses on the main level. We need better building guidelines that take into account the safety of birds and all wildlife.
In Canada, window collisions kill 16 to 42 million birds a year. Homes in Canada account for 90% of such deaths. In an effort to reduce this impact in Squamish, our volunteers completed a survey in fall 2022 to identify a site where there was a significant number of bird deaths because of collisions with glass. We were able to get permission from property owners to treat glass panels in window railings and nearby glass structures at a site where we found several birds dead because of collisions. We received a grant and allocated it to purchase suitable materials and a Grade 7 science class from École Les Aiglons completed some test panels. Installation of the deterrents was scheduled for the spring (2023), because the materials must be applied in conditions above 10° C.
Follow this link for more information about our work to monitor and prevent bird strikes in Squamish.
Banner photo by Tiffany Brunke: These volunteers are making it look easy. Those big, sticky sheets with dots sometimes had minds of their own in the afternoon Squamish wind. It was fun to work with such enthusiastic and committed people.