Have questions? Check out our FAQs
When is the event?
Global Bird Rescue will take place September 27th through October 3rd 2021.
What are the goals of GBR?
The goal of Global Bird Rescue (GBR) is to raise global awareness on the issue of bird-building collisions. GBR objectives include the following:
- To rescue as many birds as possible that have collided with buildings throughout the 7-day event
- Create a united front of initiatives focusing on the issue across the globe
- Contribute to research through community science
- Demonstrate bird collisions aren’t a localized issue, everyone is involved
- Record collision data for all forms of human-built structures with glass and/or night lighting.
- To inspire policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development
Who/what stands to gain from this event?
First and foremost birds! Mainly through policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development. Many victims of collisions will get an increased chance of survival from being rescued by participants.
As a participant, you benefit through protecting bird species in your area that protect our natural environment. You also help benefit the world through helping protecting bird species that control insect populations, pollinate plants and distribute seeds.
Who is coordinating Global Bird Rescue?
FLAP Canada developed and launched GBR in 2018 and is the central contact for this event. FLAP Canada was the first organization in the world to focus on the issue or bird-building collisions helping place the issue on the bird conservation map. For over 25 years FLAP staff and volunteers have worked to safeguard migratory birds through research, education, policy development, rescue and rehabilitation.
Is this a fundraising event?
FLAP Canada is exploring the potential for a fundraising component in the near future.
Can I fundraise for this event?
First and foremost, Global Bird Rescue is an awareness campaign on bird-building collisions. Participants are to refrain from any fundraising activities associated with this event or other projects. FLAP Canada plans to develop a fundraising component for the campaign in the near future.
Who can participate?
Anyone can participate in this event! We encourage participants to engage their friends and family to help raise awareness about Global Bird Rescue. You can participate either as a team (community, organization, institution, office, government body, etc.) or an individual (home/cottage owner, business owner, employee, etc.)
The more people participating, the bigger the difference we’ll make!
How do I participant in GBR?
Please see the “How to Participate” tab above.
What is the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an online geo-mapping tool designed for registered users to report the locations of bird-building collisions across the globe. One can enter these records from their laptop, tablet or mobile device. The details of each report can be seen by anyone who visits. More details can be found on the “GBCM” tab above.
Why use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an international bird collision database designed to help better understand where and to what degree collisions are occurring. There are currently over 69,000 recorded entries in the Mapper. Your participation in Global Bird Rescue will not only help demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, it will also help inspire further development of effective preventative measures and standards designed to protect bird species.
How do I use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
For details on how to use the Global Bird Collision Mapper check out the “GBCM” tab above. There is also a playlist of video tutorials on our YouTube account, FLAP Canada.
How do I join a local GBR Team?
You can find a list of cities with current GBR Teams on the “Find a GBR Team” tab above. Consider creating your own GBR Team if one does not already exist in your region.
Can I be part of more than one GBR Team?
Yes! Once you have a personal account on the Global Bird Collision Mapper, you can be part of multiple teams.
Who do I contact for answers to additional questions?
What can my contribution lead to?
Every bird that you manage to rescue is a bird that otherwise would not have made it. The collision reports that you contribute will directly fuel research that aims to safeguard bird species. This research will not only go to inspiring bird-friendly standards and policies, it will also go towards developing bird-deterrent solutions for home and business owners alike. Additionally, every person that you share this event with can help raise awareness about the critical and little known issue of bird-building collisions.
Do I need any tools to participate in this event?
The only tool that is essential for you to participate in GBR is a computer or cell phone with internet access. A camera to take photos of each bird you encounter is encouraged for identification purposes.
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is a web-based application that can be accessed from your home or on the go. Login to this application when you see a bird that has collided with a building.
Here is a list of additional tools that will come in handy to safely catch and transport injured birds when out patrolling in your neighbourhood:
- Non-waxed brown paper bags in various sizes
- Paperclips or binder clips
- Nylon net with tight mesh to prevent snags
- Roomy backpack or larger bag for carrying bagged birds
- Camera to take pictures of birds
- Phone numbers of local wildlife rehabilitation centres
You can find more information in the GBR Manual.
How can I help spread the word?
Follow us on our social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please share this event on your social media and to your friends and family. Consider posting photos of the birds you rescue and use #GlobalBirdRescue. The idea of this campaign is to reach as many people as possible and raise awareness about the issue of bird-building collisions. Refer people to this website for more information about the event and what they can do to save bird species.
What is the Mapper Widget?
To help increase awareness and follow Global Bird Collision Mapper entries as they happen, you can add the below two widgets to your website. Simply copy and paste the code from the Mapper Widget Code pdf into the body of your website index file.
Where do I get the Mapper Widget?
To help increase awareness and follow Global Bird Collision Mapper entries as they happen, you can add the below 2 widgets to your website:
Simply copy and paste the code from the Mapper Widget Code pdf into the body of your website index file.
How do I create an account with the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
To learn how to create an account with the Global Bird Collision Mapper, follow the steps described in the following instructional video:
Why am I not receiving my verification code to register with the GBCM?
When registering as a GBCM user, it can take up to 20 minutes to receive a verification code. Be sure to check your junk mail if the verification code doesn’t arrive.
If you are still having issues with registering, please send us an email at email@example.com.
How do I enter a collision record into the Mapper?
To enter a collision record, you need to be logged into your account. Once logged in, follow these instructions on how to report a collision:
Do I need to identify a bird species in my collision report?
You are not required to identify individual bird species to report collisions. In fact, we discourage entering a species name unless you are skilled at bird identification. If you are unsure on the species you can leave the “Species” section blank, this will leave it as “unknown”. When entering a species name, begin typing it in, and then please click on the name once it pops up in the drop-down menu.
We do encourage including a photo of the bird for the purpose of possible identification at a later time.
If you wish to familiarize yourself with bird species to aid with identification, there are several excellent bird identification guides available for purchase at your local bookstore. The Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of North America and National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America are both good guides. In addition, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a phone app called Merlin Bird ID, which is able to identify the possible species of a bird with a photo.
Why is a photo important?
Accurate bird identification helps provide accurate data. Including a photo of the bird you found in your collision report helps us achieve this goal. This allows us to separate details such as sex, species at risk and most frequently encountered species.
I am having trouble finding my location.
If you cannot find your location on the Global Bird Collision Mapper consider trying these solutions:
- The GPS accuracy of the ‘find my location’ button may be poor. Consider clicking this button again to see if it improves.
- If you still cannot find your location, consider entering the street address of the building the bird was found at in the search bar in the top right corner of the map.
- If you do not know the address, consider zooming in manually on the map by clicking anywhere on the map or using the zoom function located on the left side of the map.
- Is the building missing from the map? Try the other basemaps available in the bottom left corner . The satellite map tends to be the most up to date.
- Check out our tutorial on how to report a collision.
Why do I need to include the side of a building in a report?
The side of a building is important because a building can have multiple sides and facades. By indicating which side of the building the bird struck, you are helping to identify the highest collision risk areas for birds.
Why can’t I locate the building on the map where I found the bird?
Explore different basemaps when you can’t locate a building on the default topographic map. The satellite map tends to be the most up-to-date map. The options for basemaps is located in the bottom left corner.
How do I edit or delete a report?
Currently you can only edit one of your entries within 30 days of creating it. Once you have found the specific report you want to edit on the map, you can select the report and click the small edit button in the bottom left corner.
If you accidentally made an entry and want it deleted, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the specific report and we will delete the record for you.
How do I access my reports?
To access your collision reports, you can either locate your report on the map, or search for your entries under “Explore the Data”. Enter your username into the “From a specific observer” bar. Once you have pressed enter, your reports will show up on the map and you can either click on them individually or scroll through them in the total reports.
Why am I not able to edit my collision records?
You have up to 1 week (7 days) to modify a collision record after initial entry.
Why are my collision entries not showing in the correct location?
To ensure the accuracy of a collision location, locate the building on the map where you found the bird. This can be done in one of two methods:
- enter the address of the building into the Find address or place box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
- click the Use my location icon at the top left-hand corner of the Report Collision form. Click this icon 2 or 3 times to assure accuracy.
Once you have located the building on the map, identify the side of the building where the bird was found and zoom in to a closer magnification before clicking on the map to enter you record.
Why can’t I find the building on the map where I found the bird, even after I press the ‘Find my location’ icon?
You will find that pressing the ‘Find my location’ icon isn’t always accurate. To ensure you are entering a collision record at the correct location, consider entering the building address into the ‘Find address or place’ field located at the top right of the site.
Why can’t I submit my report on the mapper?
If the submit button at the bottom of the Collision Report is greyed out, and you are unable to submit your report try these solutions:
- Make sure the location has been selected at the top of the report. You should see coordinates listed, if you do not, simply click on the map where the collision took place, a red circle will appear on the map indicating a collision location has been selected.
- If you have filled out the report fully but see this message at the bottom of the collision report:Simply zoom in on the map until the submit button is functional. The GBCM wants to verify the collision location by ensuring the user has zoomed into the map enough to reduce the chances of selecting an inaccurate location.
How do I explore the Global Bird Collision Mapper data
To learn how to explore Mapper data, follow the steps offered in the following instructional video:
Why does my photo get cropped when uploading it to the Mapper?
The issue of some photos uploading incorrectly to the Global Bird Collision Mapper has been resolved. Photos previously uploaded incorrectly (cropped badly with black bars) can unfortunately not be fixed. If you still encounter this issue, or have a new issue with the Global Bird Collision Mapper, please send us an email at email@example.com.
When do birds collide with windows?
Birds collide with windows all hours of the day and primarily during spring and fall migration. To a migratory bird, glass is invisible and is therefore a lethal obstacle. Daytime collisions occur when birds see the exterior landscape reflected in windows or they see beyond the glass to interior vegetation. Where windows meet at the corners, or line up with each other front and back (i.e., glass walkways, solariums, greenhouses), birds perceive this as a clear passage and try to fly through to the trees they see on the other side.
Nighttime collisions occur because most species of songbirds migrate at night. The night lighting used in dense urban areas confuses migratory birds, and especially on foggy or rainy nights when cloud cover is low.
How can I search for birds that have collided with buildings?
When searching for bird-building collisions at your home or in your community, FLAP Canada recommends you keep the following tips in mind:
- First and foremost, respect private property and don’t put yourself at risk of injury
- Birds generally fall within 1.5 meters (5 feet) of a building’s base
- Birds are difficult to see on the ground when they fall into vegetation or onto rock piles
- Injured birds are known to seek cover by tucking themselves in corners at the base of buildings
- Be sure to look up and through transparent overhangs for those birds that fall onto ledges
- Look for building facades with large panes of uninterrupted glass
- Properties with treed landscapes tend to attract more birds
- Neighboring green spaces such as parks and ravines attract even more birds toward property
- Birds often collide on sides of buildings less traveled by humans
- See-through effects such as linkways, skywalks, transit shelters, solariums, noise barriers, large glass lobbies and glass corners are also lethal to birds
- Look for feather smears on glass. This can often be the only sign that a window collision ever occurred
- Look for clusters of feathers on the ground. This is usually an indicator that a collision victim’s body has been scavenged by a local predator
What should I do if I find an injured bird?
When a bird hits a building it needs a quiet, dark, safe place to rest and recuperate. If you find a bird on the ground by a building, gently place the bird inside an un-waxed paper bag or a small cardboard box. Handle the bird as little as possible. Make sure that the bag or box is closed. If you’re using a cardboard box, poke a few air holes so the bird can breathe. Use clean tissues or paper towels, rolled into a donut shape, as a perch for the bird to sit upright. Never feed the bird or give it water.
As birds that collide with glass can sustain internal injuries that hard difficult to spot, we recommend that all injured birds be taken to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility for assessment. Try the below links to find a facility near you:
What do I do if I find a dead bird?
Tragically, an estimated 65% of birds that collide with buildings die on impact. Instead of leaving the bird to be scavenged or stepped on, consider contacting a local museum, university, college, or educational institute to see if they would be interested in obtaining specimens for research purposes. Deposit the bird in a Ziploc bag and place it in a cool location until it can be transported to an interested party. If you are unable to pass the body off for research purposes, check with state or provincial laws regarding disposal. Otherwise, place the bird in a trash container where it will be out of the reach of children, pets or scavengers.
What is a community scientist?
A community scientist is a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with professional scientists or scientific institutions. Community scientists may work alone or in teams, and in the case of Global Bird Rescue, will be gathering bird-building collision data for use in scientific studies.