Window crashes, also known as bird strikes, kill millions of birds with *every* migration. You might not think it happens to you, but it does. And we can stop it.

When I was in Toronto this week, I saw a newly constructed glass building in the new West Don Lands area that used bird-friendly glass, with dots impregnated into the glass every 8-10 cm (ideally, though, it should be every 5 cm).  Birds need to see that the reflective glass is not “air to fly through,” so interruptions or obstructions in the reflected light are necessary.

The Corktown Common park was a joy to visit. It has a constructed wetland that they seeded well with native species. It has reeds, duckweed, and native water fleur-de-lys, making it a wonderful habitat for birds. I only wish it were larger, but that it is so accessible to wandering humans means they have a chance to see nature they won’t otherwise see. It whets the appetite for the real thing.

On the walk to the park, we also saw a lone swan nesting, or resting, by the viaduct. It was strange to see that in a “no-man’s-land” off the eastern part of downtown, but as always, it was welcome. I also saw a red-wing blackbird feeding his nestlings. Or, more like, I saw him arrive with food, heard the cacophony of chirps, and then saw him fly off to get more.

Toronto is in the middle of a flyway. Though we need to carry out bird-friendly design (and leaving some places alone to be wild) everywhere, Toronto recognizes its problem, and the bylaws require bird crash prevention – new buildings need to have bird-friendly glass.

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