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Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior News

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UI Wildlife Society petitions for bird-safe campus architecture

Earlier this year, Emmarie Alexander, junior in ACES, sat at her desk in her room in her second-floor apartment, taking one of her Zoom classes. Alexander was startled by a loud noise, quickly turning her attention away from her class. She investigated the noise and realized a bird had collided with her window, now laid on the ground below.

Alexander has a passion for animals; she’s an animal science major and is the president of the University’s chapter of The Wildlife Society — a national organization dedicated to environmental stewardship and education. She brought up the incident with the bird and the window at a Wildlife Society meeting and learned about a group of graduate students who were surveying the amount of bird-window collisions on campus.

The bird that hit Alexander’s window was not an isolated incident, but rather indicative of a larger phenomenon across campus.

According to the survey, during the course of two three-week periods at the height of fall migration, more than 450 birds had died from colliding with buildings on campus.

To help combat this issue, the Wildlife Society has begun petitioning the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees to adopt bird-safe building measures. These measures include requiring all new buildings to feature glass that matches the standards of the American Bird Conservancy and to retrofit existing buildings to be bird-friendly. As of Jan. 26, the petition has 385 signatures.

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Publication Date: 03/01/2021
Photo credits: The Wildlife Society UIUC
Editor: mtroher2@dailyillini.com