TWS member works to make buildings safer for birds

Karen Powers, faculty adviser for the Radford University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, has seen a rise in bird collisions with windows on campus. She’s working to make windows in the region safer for migrating birds. Credit: Radford University via Facebook

TWS member Karen Powers is trying to make her community a little more bird friendly.

A wildlife biologist at Radford University, where she serves as the faculty adviser for the college’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society, Powers and her story have documented a rise in the number of birds colliding with the large windows on campus.

The college sits along the New River in southwestern Virginia, which serves as an important migratory flyway.

“They see the vegetation reflected; they see the sky reflected. They can’t perceive the difference like we can,” Powers told Radford public radio station WVTF.

In a recent story, the radio station reported on Powers’s efforts to reduce the number of bird collisions with windows. She’s been working with Sabrina Garvin, executive director of Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke, to make buildings safer for birds, whether it’s high-tech window films or children’s painting projects.

And they urge people to keep their house cats indoors. Worse than glassy buildings, cats are the “number one” killer of birds, Garvin says.

Read more from WVTF, or listen to the story, here.


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