Admittedly, it can be embarrassing, but we have all done it at least once in our lives; running headfirst into a glass pane that we had not seen. The consequence of our action is normally only wounded self-pride or perhaps a minor injury. However, when bird strikes occur, the outcome can be fatal.

As a matter of fact, hundreds of millions of birds die every year due to window collisions in the U.S. and Canada. Glass causes a major threat to birds by its transparency and reflectivity. With vegetation reflected in the glass, birds are not able to distinguish between a real tree and its image. For a collision to be fatal, the distance from the starting point to the glass facade does not need to be greater than just a few feet. Contrary to popular belief, bird collisions are not just a problem during migratory periods, but all year round!

The W.W. Knight Nature Preserve located in Perrysburg, OH is a 44-acre preserve that offers hiking trails and boardwalks through various natural areas including a Lookout on Nature Area (LOONA), perfect for bird watching (birding). That is why their building had partial covering of a perforated plastic laminate on its windows for the deterrence of bird collisions. The plastic film was white on the exterior surface and was black colored mesh when viewed from the interior.

Despite their good intentions, challenges arose. After about 10 years, the plastic had started to crack from weathering, and the affixed film was no longer efficient. Occasional bird strikes were in fact recorded against the partially covered windows. It was also very difficult to see clearly through the glass from inside when lit by direct sunlight. It was time for a change: 18 new units (size 42”x 34” to 57”x 77”) on the South and East facing walls needed to be installed.

Walker Textures® AviProtek® T pattern 701 bird-friendly glass was chosen as the ideal solution to meet the many challenges presented by this project. UV markers are hardly noticeable by the human eye but are picked up by birds. AviProtek® T is proven highly effective through controlled field experiments conducted by Dr. Daniel Klem, Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. In addition, AviProtek® T can be combined with low-emissivity coatings. In this particular case, AviProtek® T was paired with Energy Advantage® low-e coating from Pilkington to optimize design and solar performance objectives to achieve a truly unique glazing system to save birds and energy. A perfect alliance for the sake of birds’ lives.


Project: W.W. Knight Nature Preserve, Perrysburg, OH

Glass Fabricator: Oldcastle Building Envelope®, Perrysburg

Primary Glass Manufacturer: Pilkington

Bird Friendly Glass Manufacturer: Walker Glass

Product Used: AviProtek® T – 6mm Clear Glass Pattern 701 Surface #1

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