Helping Birds Fly Free

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Spring 2016

Sixty percent of all North American birds will use the Mississippi River Flyway during the spring migration about to commence. Many of those birds are vulnerable to injury or death from colliding with windows and glass walkways across campus. But this spring, birds might get a different sort of break. A partnership between the U and researchers at the San Diego Zoo is testing the effectiveness of window film with alternating ultraviolet (UV) reflecting stripes. The film, along with video monitoring equipment, has been applied to glass in three locations on the West Bank and St. Paul campuses that are known to be among the most deadly for bird collisions.

The effectiveness of UV patterns in preventing bird collisions is highly debated: Early field tests in artificial conditions have had promising results, but this is the first time it has ever been tested in a real-world setting.


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