Is there any specific color that we can use on facades that help us keep birds safe? If tint or some color film that modifies the glass color is added, would the risk of birds hitting the facade be lowered? Birds have a vision spectrum different from ours, could we use this in their favor?
Stefan KnustDirector of Sustainability
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August 8, 2022 - 10:59 am
Hi, Roberto. You have asked three questions, which I will attempt to answer to the best of my knowledge. And I assume that you are talking about glass facades (transparent or spandrel). (1) No, I am not aware of a "bird"-safe color (by which you might mean tint?). Any uniform strategy that lacks visible patterns or signals will be un-safe to birds if the material is reflective and/or transparent, especially if the glazing is within mature-tree height above ground (for LL15 in NYC it is 75' high, for LEED Pilot Credit 55 it is less for Zone 1, the more "dangerous" zone). However, any pattern or signal that creates visual contrast with the background/see-through/reflected condition will be more bird-friendly. (2) It is possible that some tints may make glazing more or less bird-friendly, but only depending upon the degree to which transparency and/or reflectivity is affected. If you do not intend to impact one or both of those glazing characteristics, then I would say no, there is no known bird-safe approach from a uniform tint or color film. (3) You are correct that birds see the world differently than we do, but that is also not consistent across all species of birds. Yet several glazing providers have created options (patterns) in the UV spectrum that take advantage of your observation in order to alert migrating songbirds, many of which do see in the UV spectrum. So the answer here is a conditional yes, but only if patterns or visible signals are part of the facade/glazing assembly. For more info, visit https://abcbirds.org/blog/truth-about-birds-and-glass-collisions/ where you can check out other links too. I hope this helps.