Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Chronicle features our project’s success at Duke!

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Read the article here!

We got a lot of media attention for having the “deadliest” building of all, as you may recall. We identified the engineering building, CIEMAS, as the building with the most bird-window collisions with 72% of the strikes. The obvious solution to prevent collisions on campus, then, was to retrofit this structure and stop about 2/3 of the collisions.

After conversations with the administration in several occasions, and a through media coverage, Duke has decided to make CIEMAS bird friendly! This summer, dotted patterns were applied to the most dangerous structures for birds: glass walkways and large windows. We will continue to monitor collisions at the building to assess the efficacy of the patterns.

We invite other universities and organizations to do the same!

American Birding Association blog about bird-window collisions

Back in April of this year, the American Birding Association asked us to write a piece on bird-window collisions and “green buildings”. We still don’t know much about the relationship between green certifications and collisions, but we suspect that green buildings have more windows, thus taking more birds. Our group is currently leading a research project on this topic and we hope to elucidate the realtionship soon. Ultimately, we would want green certifications, like LEED, to include bird friendly as a major factor for getting certified.

Read the blog here!ABA blog


Duke becomes friendlier to birds: thank you!

After two years of organized and standardized data gathering, we all know CIEMAS was the number one building when it comes to bird-window collisions. In case you missed it, this building was the center of attention for the local media, being described as a “bird killer”.

The glass walkways in CIEMAS are responsible for many of the bird deaths on this building. When Duke’s administrators asked us what part of the building we would make bird friendly first, we all agreed on the glass hallways (shown below).


These glass hallways are now bird friendly!!! Yes, you heard it: bird friendly!!!!

IMG_4479During this summer months, Duke’s staff have been working hard applying patterned film to the most dangerous structures on CIEMAS. In the close up of the window shown on the left, you can see the dots that will cue birds to the presence of a window, helping prevent collisions.

The dots are spaced according to bird collision studies’ suggestions. Our team will continue to monitor CIEMAS to document the success of these patterned films.


We hope that other universities, institutions, and householders will follow our example in making their structures bird friendly.

We want to thank everyone at Duke University that has helped make this possible, especially folks at the Facilities and Management department and Katie-Rose Levin, Dr. Tallman Trask III, Paul Manning, Casey Collins, and John Noonan. We also thank all the volunteers that have helped collect bird carcasses.

We move forward with promoting changes in other buildings at Duke, in other campuses, and everywhere.