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American Bird Conservancy doubles capacity to test bird-friendly glass


American Bird Conservancy doubles capacity to test bird-friendly glass

Will help meet high demand for testing from glass manufacturers.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | April 1, 2022
Bird Friendly glass
Courtesy Pixabay.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC), working with Washington College in Maryland, says it has doubled its capacity to test and rate glass and other materials for their ability to deter bird collisions. “The move will help ABC meet high demand for testing from glass manufacturers—a vital component of the organization’s work to reduce the threat of window collisions for birds,” according to a news release.
A glass testing tunnel at Washington College’s Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory in Chestertown, Maryland began operations last fall. The new tunnel is one of just two facilities in North America that can test glass and issue a “bird-friendly” rating, called a Material Threat Factor.
This rating system makes it easier for governments to enact bird-friendly policies and for architects to design buildings that are safer for birds. Windows are among the deadliest threats that migratory birds meet on their journeys, killing up to a billion in the U.S. each year.
Glass can be made safer for birds by adding visible markers that birds can see. “The challenge is finding a balance between human aesthetic preferences and birds’ need for a visual hint that glass is solid—a challenge made more difficult because humans’ forward vision is superior to that of most birds,” ABC says. “The good news is that most bird-friendly patterns are barely noticeable to people.”

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