Reflective Plate Glass- A Hazard to Migrating Birds. BioScience Vol. 26 No. 6. Richard C. Banks, 1976

The use of reflective plate glass in building construction places large mirror-like surfaces perpendicular to the earth. Under’ some circumstances, porticularly where this glass perhaps lsalizos its greatest aesthetic value in reflecting nearby’ trees or woodlatrd, these mirrors constitute a hazard to migrant birds.

Wolliding with man-made structures have appeared sporadically in the ornithological literature for nearly a century. Large scale mortality has been reported at lighthouses, tall buildings, and television broadcasting towers. An analysis of recent information suggests that as many as 1.25 million birds a year may die in this way in the United States (Banks, Ann. Rev. Ecol. and Syst., in press). Instances of deaths of individual birds from flying into windows of homes and other buildings are less spectacular and receive less widespread notice, although total annual mortality from this cause may be as great as 3.5 million birds. This report draws attention to a new variant of the bird-strike phenomenon somewhat intermediate between large-scale mortality at tall structures and individual deaths at isolated windows and one that is likely to become increasingly important.

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