What are the goals of the GBR?

The goal of Global Bird Rescue is to raise global awareness on the issue of bird-building collisions

  • Create a united front of initiatives focusing on the issue across the globe
  • Contribute to research through citizen science
  • Demonstrate bird collisions aren't a localized issue. Everyone is involved.
  • Record collision data for all forms of human-built structures with glass and/or night lighting.
  • To inspire policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development.

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate in this event! We encourage participants to engage their friends and family to help raise awareness about Global Bird Rescue. You can register either as a team (group of citizens, organization, institution, office, government body, etc.) or an individual (home/cottage owner, business owner, employee, etc.)

The more people participating, the bigger the difference we'll make!

What is required of a participant?

Each year during a one-week period, registered teams and individual bird rescuers are encouraged to search their communities for bird collisions and document these encounters. There is no minimum time requirement to participate. An individual and/or team can commit to daily and/or nightly patrols or they can simply record any collisions they happen to encounter during their daily travels/routine.

  • Each participant will need to register on the Global Bird Collision Mapper.
  • When registering as a team of rescuers, be sure to provide a name for your group (e.g. Lights Out Cleveland). Individual team members must create their own accounts. (See "How do I create a group?" in FAQs)
  • Teams must read and agree to the Event Rules and Guidelines in the Global Bird Rescue Manual.
  • Each team will be asked to help promote the event and recruit additional participants.
  • A participant working alone only has to register as an individual.
  • To best prepare for this event, you are encouraged to familiarize yourselves with all of the resources on the Global Bird Rescue website in order to make your experience more successful and rewarding.

Who/what stands to gain from this event?

First and foremost BIRD SPECIES, mainly through policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development. Birds will also benefit from those participants that manage to rescue the living.

As a participant, you benefit through protecting bird species in your area that protect our natural environment. You also help benefit the world through helping protecting bird species that control insect populations, pollinate plants, distribute seeds, bird watching industry.

Is this a fundraising event?

As this is a pilot project; we continue to fine tune the structure of this program. Our goal is this to be come an annual event. Meanwhile, FLAP Canada is exploring the potential for a fundraising component in the near future.

When is the event?

The first week of October.

What is the Global Bird Collision Mapper?

The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an online geo-mapping tool designed for registered users to report the locations of bird collisions with buildings. The details of each report can be seen by anyone who visits birdmapper.org/app/.

Why use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?

The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an international bird collision database designed to help better understand where and to what degree collisions are occurring. There are currently over 12,500 recorded entries in the Global Bird Collision Mapper. Your participation in Global Bird Rescue will not only help demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, it will help inspire further development of effective preventative measures and standards designed to protect bird species.

What is the Mapper Widgets?

The Mapper Widget is a web-based counter that provides a real-time total of bird collisions entered into the Global Bird Collision Mapper during the Global Bird Rescue event.

How do I get the Mapper Widgets?

To help increase awareness and follow Global Bird Collision Mapper entries as they happen, simply copy and paste the below code into your website index file:

<iframe src="https://birdmapper.org/app/counter/" style="height:60px; width:120px; padding-left:0px; border:0px;"></iframe>

<iframe src="https://birdmapper.org/app/counter/?start=20180924&end=20180930&alive=YES&dead=YES" style="height:60px; width:125px; padding-left:0px; border:0px;"></iframe>

How do I enter a collision record into the Mapper?

To enter a collision record, you need to start by creating an account. To the right of the Mapper header, there is an account icon that will pull up the login window. At the bottom of the login window is the register option. Once you have entered your account information, you will need to verify your email address. Once you are logged on to your BirdSafe® Mapper account, you can enter a collision report under the menu icon.

How do I access my reports?

To access your collision reports, you can either locate your report on the map, or search for your entries under the "Explore the Data" under the menu icon. Enter your username into the "From a specific observer" bar. Once you have pressed enter, your reports will show up on the map and you can either click on them individually or scroll through them in the total reports.

How do I edit or delete a report?

Currently you can only edit one of your entries within 7 days of creating it. Once you have found the specific report you want to edit on the map, you can select the report and click the small edit button in the bottom left corner.

If accidentally made an entry and want it deleted, simply email mapper@flap.org with the details of the specific report and we will delete the record for you.

How do I create a group on the Mapper?

To create a group in the Bird Collision Mapper, simply fill out the group request form at the bottom our GBR Manual and email it to mapper@flap.org. We will create the group and add members for you. Once individuals are registered as part of a group, they can submit reports independently or as a group entry.

How do I join a group?

You can request to be part of a group by emailing mapper@flap.org and providing your account name and the name of the group you are trying to join. We will add you to that group and you will then be able to add entries with that group.

Can I be part of more than one group?

Yes! Once you have an account, you can be part of multiple groups.

Why do I need to include the side of a building in a report?

The side of a building is important because a building can have multiple sides and facades. By indicating which side of the building the bird struck, you are helping to identify the highest risk areas for birds.

What is a citizen scientist?

A citizen scientist is a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with professional scientists or scientific institutions. Citizen scientists may work alone or in teams, and in the case of Global Bird Rescue, will be gathering bird-building collision data for use in scientific studies.

How as a member of the public do I use social media to draw attention to this campaign?

Social media has become an essential tool to help raise public awareness on issues affecting our planet. In the case of GBR; this can be achieved by sharing information on the event on one of, or a combination of, several social media tools including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Simply provide the details of this event in the body of your posting and share it with as many individuals as possible. Lead by example by making sure you participate in the event and encourage others to do the same.

Our Facebook page will provide sharable content for you, and you will also be able to create your own content for the event by following the social media guidelines on our website.

Who is coordinating/organizing this campaign?

Global Bird Rescue and Collision Count Week is a FLAP Canada driven campaign being supported by its network of over 70 partners across North America.

Who is FLAP Canada

FLAP Canada was the first organization in the world to focus on the issue or bird-building collisions helping place the issue on the bird conservation map. For 25 years FLAP staff and volunteers have worked to safeguard migratory birds through research, education, policy development, rescue and rehabilitation.

Who do I contact for answers to questions?

The majority of your questions can be answered in our frequently asked questions section (FAQs) at https://birdmapper.org/FAQ.html. Our additional websites, birdsafe.ca and flap.org, also have additional information regarding the bird-building collision and what you can do to help.

What can my contribution lead to?

Every bird that you manage to rescue is a bird that otherwise would not have made it. The collision reports that you contribute will directly fuel research that aims to safeguard bird species. This research will not only go to inspiring bird-friendly standards and policies, it will also go towards developing bird-deterrent solution for home and business owners alike. Additionally, every person that you share this event can help raise awareness about the critical and little known issue of bird-building collisions.

Do I need any tools to participate in this event?

The only tool you that is essential for you to participate in GBR is a computer or cellular device with Internet access. A digital camera to take photos of each bird you encounter is encouraged.
Our Mapper tool is a web-based application that can be accessed from your home or on the go. Login to this application when you see a bird that has collided with a building. When patrolling your neighbourhood for birds, here is a list of additional tools that will come in handy to safely catch and transport injured birds:

  • Non-waxed brown paper bags in various sizes
  • Paperclips or binder clips
  • Nylon net with tight mesh to prevent snags
  • Method of carrying birds; roomy backpack or large bag
  • Camera or camera phone to take pictures of downed birds
  • Phone numbers of local wildlife rehabilitation centre

Are there effective techniques that help improve bird search efficiency?

When searching for bird-building collisions at your home or in your community, FLAP Canada recommends you keep the following tips in mind:

  • First and foremost, respect private property and don’t put yourself at risk of injury
  • Birds generally fall within 1.5 meters (5 feet) of a building’s base
  • Birds are difficult to see on the ground when they fall into vegetation or onto rock piles
  • Injured birds are known to seek cover by tucking themselves in corners at the base of buildings
  • Be sure to look up and through transparent overhangs for those birds that fall onto ledges
  • Look for building facades with large panes of uninterrupted glass
  • Properties with treed landscapes tend to attract more birds
  • Neighboring green spaces such as parks and ravines attract even more birds toward property
  • Birds often collide on sides of buildings less traveled by humans
  • See-through effects such as linkways, skywalks, transit shelters, solariums, noise barriers, large glass lobbies and glass corners are also lethal to birds
  • Look for feather smears on glass. This can often be the only sign that a window collision ever occurred
  • Look for clusters of feathers on the ground. This is usually an indicator that a collision victim's body has been scavenged by a local predator

When do birds collide with windows?

Birds collide with windows all hours of the day and primarily during spring and fall migration. To a migratory bird, glass is invisible and is therefore a lethal obstacle. Daytime collisions occur when birds see the exterior landscape reflected in windows or they see beyond the glass to interior vegetation. Where windows meet at the corners, or line up with each other front and back (i.e., glass walkways, solariums, greenhouses), birds perceive this as a clear passage and try to fly through to the trees they see on the other side.

Nighttime collisions occur because most species of songbirds migrate at night. The night lighting used in dense urban areas confuses migratory birds, and especially on foggy or rainy nights when cloud cover is low.

What do I do if I find a live bird?

There are several important tips you need consider when encountering a live bird. When you find a bird that hits a building, avoid chasing the bird or leaving the bird where it lies. Instead, gently place the bird inside an non-waxed paper bag or cardboard box. Handle the bird as little as possible. Make sure that the bag or box is closed. If you're using a cardboard box, poke a few air holes so the bird can breathe. Use clean tissues or paper towels, rolled into a donut shape, as a perch for the bird to sit upright. Never feed the bird or give it water.

If the bird recovers after one hour, you will hear it fluttering inside the bag or box. Do not release the bird where you found it. Instead, take the bird to a park, ravine or green space far away from buildings. Slowly open the bag or box to let the bird fly out. You have just saved the life of a migratory bird.

If the bird remains unresponsive after one hour, take it to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility.

What do I do if I find a dead bird?

Tragically, an estimated 65% of birds that collide with buildings die on impact. Instead of leaving the bird to be scavenged or stepped on, consider contacting a local museum, university, college, or educational institute to see if they would be interested in obtaining specimens for research purposes. Deposit the bird in a Ziploc bag and place it in a cool location until it can be transported to an interested party. If you are unable to pass the body off for research purposes, check with state or provincial laws regarding disposal. Otherwise, place the bird in a trash container where it will be out of the reach of children, pets or scavengers.

How can I help spread the word?

Please share this event on your social media and to your friends and family. The idea of this campaign is to reach as many people as possible and raise awareness about the issue of bird-building collisions. Refer people to our website and our Facebook page for more information about the event and what they can do to save bird species.

Can I fundraise for this event?

First and foremost, Global Bird Rescue is an awareness campaign on bird-building collisions. As this campaign is a pilot project, participants are to refrain from any fundraising activities associated with this event or other projects. FLAP Canada plans to develop a fundraising component for the campaign in the near future, provided it shows promise for future years.

Do I need to identify a bird species?

You are not required to identify individual bird species to report collisions. In fact, we discourage entering a species name unless you are skilled at bird identification. We do however encourage including a photo of the bird for the purpose of possible identification at a later time.

If you wish to familiarize yourself with bird species to aid with identification, there are several excellent bird identification guides available for purchase at your local bookstore. The Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of North America and National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America are both good guides. In addition, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a phone app called Merlin Bird ID, which is able to identify the possible species of a bird with a photo.

How do I volunteer with a local initiative?

To volunteer for a FLAP-like initiative, simply locate an active group in your region from our list of team partners on birdmapper.org. Consider creating your own initiative if a group doesn’t exists in your region.

How do I start a local initiative?

To learn more about how to start a local bird rescue initiative in your region visit http://flap.org/start-a-program.php.