Canberra's glass structures and bird strike

To: "'David McDonald (Personal)'" <>, 'Canberrabirds list' <>
Subject: Canberra's glass structures and bird strike
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2023 22:39:00 +0000

Thoughts?  While I might have overlooked some relevant research, it seems to me that the aim of the flying bird is not to enter the comfortable gas-warmed interior of a Canberra house, or to take advantage of the swimming pool, or the bus shelter in the below example, being deceived by the transparency of the glass, but is, rather, to enter the world of sky, vegetation and bird-friendly habitat that is reflected by the glass.  If that is so, frosting might not be an effective preventive measure, if the illusion of a different world behind the glass is maintained.  A window is still reflective even if there is an opaque curtain behind it.


Yes, David, there is quite a lot of glass being incorporated in new structures in Canberra suburbs.  It is not just a preference for the material in contemporary architecture but the sheer volume of building taking place, as you will find if you take a drive through the expansive Lower Molonglo developments.


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of David McDonald (Personal)
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 5:59 PM
To: Canberrabirds list <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Canberra's glass structures and bird strike


Greetings. Yesterday had a call from a resident of Kambah, who found my contact details at COG’s website.


She is a very environmentally-sensitive person, and asked if COG, or any other environmentally-focused organisations, are aware of an increasing number of deaths of birds caused by them flying into glass structures. She points out that it seems to have become increasingly fashionable to have all kinds of structures made out of clear glass, instancing glass railings on balconies and glass fencing around swimming pools.


Another example she provided is that one of Canberra's prominent private schools has recently installed a large, clear glass, bus shelter. At the foot of it she found one or more birds that had been killed there by flying into the glass. To their credit, it seems that the school has responded to her concerns by undertaking to frost the glass.


Not spending much time in Canberra nowadays, I'm not in a position to assess the extent to which clear glass structures are increasingly being constructed in the city. Nonetheless, if that is the case, perhaps there is scope for planning regulations to take into account the danger of bird deaths from flying into clear glass structures? Thoughts and experiences?


Best wishes – David



David McDonald

Canberra Ornithologists Group email lists manager

1004 Norton Road, Wamboin, NSW 2620, Australia

Mobile: 0416 231 890 | Tel: (02) 6238 3706

E-mail: m("","coglists-owner");"> 



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