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Julie Cook Kitchener Mar 5, 2024 16:38 pm
Hi all, 

Migratory birds are returning to their native habitats in those parts of the world that are emerging from winter. A very interesting Toronto-based organization called FLAP is dedicated to protecting these birds from injury or death due to collisions with windows in urban settings. Somewhere between 15 – 30 million birds are killed annually in Canada alone after colliding with a window. FLAP works with building owners to reduce injuries and deaths by altering glass surfaces to make them more visible to birds. But what is the best approach to working with building owners? Collaborate or confront? 
FLAP has collaborated with municipal and commercial stakeholders in Toronto to develop best practices to reduce bird-window collisions. These guidelines were voluntary at first and then later became mandatory, as part of the Toronto Green Standard. FLAP tries to ensure that there are clear benefits to building owners, such as having volunteers remove dead birds from around the property. Interestingly, FLAP also uses compelling imagery to communicate their messages. For over two decades now, FLAP creates a yearly public layout of all the dead birds collected by volunteers. Last year’s toll was over 4000. This undoubtedly raises awareness by creating emotional resonance with priority groups. 
In contrast to FLAP’s largely collaborative approach, some organizations have been aggressive against building owners by taking them to court. Being aggressive with guilty parties can make the issue more well-known through media coverage or legal action, but this can also impede the ability to achieve long-lasting solutions. These efforts have had mixed results. FLAP seems to have learned that confrontation is best only when collaboration does not achieve desired results.  
For more information about FLAP’s work, you can read the Conversation’s article about them here or visit their website directly. If you are living in the United States, you could also check out similar work being done in New York and Chicago