Global Bird Rescue 2020

GBR 2020 Total Entries

GBR 2020 has come to a close. We wish to thank all GBR participants for their efforts to search for fallen birds in their communities and for helping raise awareness on the issue of bird-building collisions.

All GBR participants are asked to submit their collision records by November 15, 2020. Please be sure to backdate your GBR entries to fall between October 5 and 11, 2020.

During the peak of bird fall migration in North America, an estimated 4 billion birds will navigate built environments as they travel southward to their wintering grounds. Millions of birds will not arrive at their destination due to a fatal collision with a building. You can help ensure these birds survive their journey! Join us for Global Bird Rescue (GBR) from October 5 to 11, 2020, an annual event hosted by FLAP Canada designed to raise awareness about bird-building collisions and to inspire home and workplace bird-safe retrofits across the globe.

Global Bird Rescue uses the Global Bird Collision Mapper (GBCM) to document bird-building collisions worldwide. Each year, during the first week in October, teams and individuals take to the streets to search for birds that have collided with buildings in their community, to social media to raise awareness about this conservation issue, and to make their own windows bird-safe.

We encourage you to search for birds in order to increase the chances of a successful rescue, but preventing these collisions is GBR’s ultimate goal.  You can help make this event a global success by joining GBR today!

Global Bird Rescue Information

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Global Bird Rescue will take place October 5th through 11th 2020.

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

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.

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.

FLAP Canada is exploring the potential for a fundraising component in the near future.

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.

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!

Please see the “How to Participate” tab above.

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.

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 57,300 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.

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.

To create a GBR Team in the Global Bird Collision Mapper, simply fill out the Team Registration form. We will create the team and add members fr you. Once individuals are added to a GBR Team, they can submit reports independently, or under the Team name.

You can find a list of cities with current GBR Teams on the “2020 Participants” tab above. Consider creating your own GBR Team if one does not already exist in your region.

Yes! Once you have a personal account on the Global Bird Collision Mapper, you can be part of multiple teams.

  1. For questions regarding Global Bird Rescue and the Global Bird Collision Mapper (accounts, registering, groups, etc) please email
  2. For general questions regarding bird safe practices and bird-building collisions, you can visit and, or email us directly at

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mapper Widget Code

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.

To learn how to create an account with the Global Bird Collision Mapper, follow the steps describes in the following instructional video:

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

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:

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.

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.

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 can be found in the menu.

Currently you can only edit one of your entries within 7 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 with the details of the specific report and we will delete the record for you.

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.

You have up to 1 week (7 days) to modify a collision record after initial entry.

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.

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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

To learn how to explore Mapper data, follow the steps offered in the following instructional video:

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 still encounter this issue, or have a new issue with the Global Bird Collision Mapper, please send us an email at

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.

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

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.

If the bird recovers after one hour, you will hear it fluttering inside the bag or box. Take the bird to a park, a ravine or another open area far away from windows and buildings. Slowly open the bag or box and let the bird fly out. You have just saved the life of a migratory bird.

If the bird remains unresponsive after one hour, take it to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility. Try the below links to find a facility near you:



United States


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.

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.