In the IMBD 2005 artwork, David Sibley portrays the "Collisions"
theme using an illusion of depth and layers. In the foreground is a
selection of birds including Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat,
White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red Phalarope, and
Swainson's Thrush. These birds are mirrored in a plate glass window,
a potential collision hazard. Reflected at a distance in this same
window are Snow Geese, Blue-winged Teal and a Golden Eagle in flight
through a crowded skyline of additional aerial obstacles, including
buildings, communication and wind turbine towers, wires, and a
plane. A complex piece of art for a complex issue!
Clear the Way for Birds!
Flight is a magnificent means of transportation, allowing bats,
insects, birds and even humans to travel great distances. For many
birds, however, a journey across the skies may be a veritable
obstacle course of human-related hazards. International Migratory
Bird Day (IMBD) is an opportunity to examine the obstacles birds may
encounter in flight and explore the many ways we may minimize their
The towers erected for our cell phones and pagers, the lines that
bring us power, our vehicles, the windows on homes and office
buildings, and even sources of renewable energy, such as wind
turbines, create obstacles for birds in flight. Collisions with
these obstacles may cause the death of one bird or tens of thousands
of birds in a single incident. Biologists estimate the combined
death toll from aerial collisions may exceed 700 million birds each
year and affects all types, from ducks, gulls, plovers, owls, and
hawks, to woodpeckers, hummingbirds, warblers, sparrows, and
The problem is urgent, and biologists, conservation
organizations, communities and individuals are joining forces with
industry representatives to unravel the causes of bird collisions
and to explore ways of making a birdís journey safer. Individual
participation in these efforts can have significant results. Small
changes at home, involvement at work, and active contribution to
your community can make a world of difference to bird conservation.
challenge in reducing bird collisions is finding ways to alter the
design and use of structures, equipment and vehicles while still
having them serve their purpose. Also, in some cases, it's not quite
clear why or under what conditions the collisions occur.
Fortunately, studies are under way to develop solutions. Read up on
the problems...and solutions...by checking out these links:
Glass and Lights:
NYC's Project Safe Flight
Lights Out Chicago
Avian Power Line
Fish & Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Birds' "Avian
Collisions at Communication Towers"
National Wind Coordinating Committee
The following is a
variety of ideas for teaching about bird collisions.
- Order the IMBD 2005 theme magazine "Collisions" in bulk and distribute to students or visitors.
- Research and write an article about local collision issues for
local birds in a member newsletter.
- Invite a local wildlife rehabilitator to speak at a meeting or
public event. Ask them particularly to share stories of birds
injured by collisions -- the results and what might be done to
prevent such injuries.
- Set up one of the following activities in a classroom or at an
event for young people --
- "The Migration Game" described in Bridges to Birding,
a program guide available from the IMBD On-line
-"Hidden Hazards" or "Bird Hurdles" described in
Flying WILD: An Educator's Guide to Celebrating Birds, also
available from the IMBD On-line
- NEW! "Watch Out for Windows: An Interactive Display for Teaching about Bird Collisons with Windows" Download PDF
- NEW! "Build A Better Tower: An Game for Teaching about Bird Collisons with Towers" Download PDF
Also, download images of A Tall, Guyed Tower and A Self-Supported Tower