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Bird-Friendly at BU


Over the last forty years, growing scientific research has shown that millions of birds die each year by flying into windows.  Bird deaths from collisions with windows are second only in number to bird deaths caused by domestic and feral cats (and many cats may be picking off birds that already flew into windows).  Flying into windows kills birds indiscriminately.  The young and fit are as likely to die as the old and weak.  Bird have simply not evolved to recognize glass as an obstacle; instead they see the grass, trees, and sky reflected in the glass and believe the space to be a corridor in the otherwise solid building.  The threat to birds threatens humans as well, due to the insect control, waste removal, pollination/fertilizing, and esthetics services that birds provide.  Read more.









American Goldfinch found under a window on campus

What's BU doing about it?

In Fall 2019, a Bird Friendly BU Group formed on campus.  The group's aims are to:

  • identify which campus buildings contribute most to bird fatalities
  • identify mitigation techniques to reduce bird fatalities on campus
  • educate the campus and surrounding communities about ways to reduce bird fatalities from flying into windows

If you find a dead bird on campus, please contact Dr. Clay Corbin (, 570-389-4134).







The committee hard at work during a December 2019 meeting.

In Spring 2021, BU joined with other organizations in Columbia County to promote Lights Out Columbia County, a proclamation by the Columbia County Commissioners as a way to save birds.  Learn more.

References/Learn More

"Birds and Windows." Acopian Center for Ornithology, Muhlenberg College,

"Bird Collisions." American Bird Conservancy, 

Franzen, Jonathan. “Why Birds Matter.” National Geographic, vol. 233, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 30–57.  (Must sign in to access).

Klem, Daniel. "Bird-Window Collisions: A Critical Animal Welfare and Conservation Issue." Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, vol. 18, 2015, pp. S11-S17.

Klem, Daniel.  Daniel Klem Jr.,

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