By Matthew Shumar
Published: December 5, 2018

Students presenting their campus monitoring findings of bird-building collisions at the 2018 Ohio Avian Research Conference. Photo credit: Casey Tucker.

This past spring, students from the Ornithology Club at The Ohio State University developed a campus-wide monitoring program to check for bird-building collisions during spring and fall migration. Club co-presidents Kandace Glanville and Tyler Ficker collaborated with Chris Tonra (Assistant Professor in Avian Wildlife Ecology) and Matthew Shumar (Program Coordinator, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative) to develop protocols for the monitoring effort. They were joined this fall by a team of dedicated undergraduate students.

Building collisions have gained increased attention in recent years, and it is estimated that as many as 1 billion birds die from collisions in the United States alone.  In 2012, the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, along with The Ohio State University and a variety of partners, developed a “Lights Out” campaign to reduce the hazards of urban landscapes in Ohio. Ohio Lights Out is now running in seven of the state’s cities, where local governments and private businesses work together to reduce nighttime lighting and treat reflective glass.

Large college campuses are an ideal setting to incorporate sustainable building designs that are not only energy efficient, but also safe for native wildlife. Students have recovered over 160 birds from Ohio State’s campus this fall and are beginning to assess specific locations, landscape factors, and building designs that contribute to avian mortality.

During autumn semester their findings were presented at the Ohio Avian Research Conference, where Glanville and Ficker were awarded the Dr. David Osborne Award for best student presentation. To further acknowledge their efforts, Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Ohio Young Birders Club presented the Ornithology Club with $1,000 to help support their conservation efforts.

Students in the Ornithology Club received a $1,000 donation from The Ohio Young Birders Club and Black Swamp Bird Observatory for their Lights Out Buckeyes program. Photo credit: Ethan Rising.

Read the original article online here:

Bird-building Collision Monitoring Efforts Recognized