Bird Collision Prevention
Overview of the Bird Protection Plan
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is home to resident birds and is a temporary stop to numerous migratory bird species across North America. As an urban university, campus building collision affects numerous migratory and resident bird species, including ones with conservational concerns. With the UIC Climate Commitments, UIC is dedicated to creating a biodiverse campus, which is a friendly-to-all habitat for all forms of life. It is imperative that UIC preserve the health and diversity of the campus ecosystem and eliminate any human-made factors that can pose potential harm to the species.
Glass as exterior finish instead of solid walls helps utilize natural sunlight during daytime, increasing connection to nature for building occupants. While all types of glass possess the reflective characteristic, some types of glass in UIC buildings are more reflective than others. This glass has an extra layer of metal coating to aide with energy-efficient system by reducing the amount of heat penetrating the interior environment. However, they pose harm to birds by creating a vivid reflection of the surrounding greenery. Birds do not understand the concept of glass being a transparent barrier and will fly towards the image projected on the glass surface.
Incorporating bird-friendly features for buildings requires minimum effort and funding. For future projects, proper initial preparation in the building design and construction process can reduce harm. For existing buildings, bird-friendly features can be incorporated by applying patterns on windows and turning off lights after dark or when not needed, which also conserves energy.
Birds bring the UIC campus to life and keep us close to nature. They benefit humans in agriculture, culture, and economy. Altogether, we can initiate change and create a better environment for birds to live in harmony with our lifestyles, and this can be achieved by supporting bird-friendly buildings on campus.