Protecting Birds from Window Collisions

In the United States alone, it is estimated that up to a billion birds die each year in collisions with windows, walls, and other structures. In fact, window collisions are the second largest anthropocentric mortality threat to birds, second only to domestic cat predation (more on that in a future blog). Although this widow collision problem is serious, and human-caused, solving it is complicated, involving cooperation from businesses and members of the public alike.

Conscious of this problem facing our resident and transient bird populations in Costa Rica, in March 2017, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa began the process of fabricating and installing Acopian BirdSavers on their high-risk windows. Acopian BirdSavers work by creating breaks in the reflection of a window, making birds more likely to avoid flying into to them.

In the following months, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa has noticed a significant decrease in the number of window collisions in areas with the BirdSavers installed. Although collisions still do happen, when the BirdSavers are installed that are nearly never fatal. The thought is that although birds may stay occasionally hit a window with the BirdSavers installed, they may have noticed them at the last moment, giving them a split-second to react and better brace themselves for impact.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge would like to invite our friends and guests to help us participate in this quest to better protect our birds from human-caused mortality.