Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Environmental Science and Policy
birds, humans, environment, turbines, mortality
Human development is having a detrimental effect on bird populations around the world. One hundred million to one billion birds are killed every year from colliding with human-built structures. I explored factors influencing the inability of birds to avoid man-made structures. If we can better understand these reasons, we can find solutions to this problem. After a known bird avoidance method, fritted glass, was installed in the Wold building, I investigated whether this glass actually deters birds from striking windows. Strikes on windows were noted daily through observation of specific windows on campus. Results show that vegetation outside of windows has the biggest influence strike frequency. An analysis of the fritted glass windows on campus versus windows of similar size and vegetation showed that fritted glass windows received half the number of strikes as non-fritted windows. I also studied wind turbines, which cause 100,000 bird mortalities annually. The on-campus vertical turbines are known to be much more “bird friendly” but also much less power than large horizontal turbines. A cost analysis was conducted to see if these smaller turbines could ever replace larger industrial turbines and this idea proved unsuccessful. Bird friendly window options and turbine structures must be considered as we continue to build up our infrastructure around the world.
Schwartz, Stacie, "Bird Mortality in the Human Built Environment" (2013). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 723.