Safe Wings Ottawa Annual Display Raises Awareness for Bird Mortality in the City

Every year, Safe Wings Ottawa creates an eye-opening display of birds that were killed by colliding with windows during the previous year. On Wednesday, March 20, Safe Wings will present the birds its volunteers collected in 2018. The 3,135 collisions documented represent 111 species, 5 of which are at risk.

These are just a small fraction of the estimated 250,000 birds killed annually by building collisions in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Since Safe Wings began researching collisions in the spring of 2014, volunteers have documented 127 species injured or killed by buildings in the Ottawa area.

Safe Wings Ottawa is a non-profit group composed of bird safety activists who work year-round to reduce bird mortality from window collisions through research, prevention and rescue. Since 2014, more than a dozen Safe Wings Ottawa volunteers have been recording the species of each dead bird found as well as where and when the collision occurred. In order to reduce the amount of bird collisions each year, the non-profit also educates the public and advises homeowners and owners of commercial and institutional buildings on what they can do to prevent collisions through the use of bird-friendly window treatments, architecture and landscaping. 

Their work extends beyond research and prevention to rescue and recovery. Birds that can be saved are taken to Ms.Hoedeman, founder of Safe Wings Ottawa, who performs immediate treatment before taking them to a wildlife centre. Safe Wings provides short-term treatment for injured birds and works closely with various partners including the Wild Bird Care Centre, where birds are transferred to when they require more extensive treatment. 

As the City of Ottawa continues its work to develop bird-friendly design guidelines — even as more and more hazardous structures are built — the not-profit hopes you will join them to better appreciate the scope of the problem, and to find out what we can all do to address this important issue.

The public is welcome to view the exhibit in the main corridor of Ottawa City Hall tomorrow (Wednesday March 20th) between 11AM and 2PM. 

To learn more about Safe Wings Ottawa click here.