Preventing Bird Collisions with Buildings: International Fund for Animal Welfare and Uniview Take Action

Image 1 - Comparison before and after applying bird collision prevention stickers, left side shows the glass after applying dot matrix pattern.

Dr. Kamil's first visit to Hangzhou in March 2024 coincided with the blossoming of spring, filling the Uniview headquarters with the fragrance of flowers and the chirping of birds. Beneath the glass curtain wall of the R&D building's fourth floor, he joined Dr. Zhou Di, director of the Uniview Research Institute, in applying bird collision prevention stickers. Engineers aimed to alter the fate of birds colliding with glass.

As the Senior Vice President overseeing global projects at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Dr. Kamil leads initiatives to protect wildlife worldwide. Established in 1969 to combat Canada's large-scale commercial hunting of seals, IFAW now operates projects in over 40 countries.

Image 2 - Nearly 1000 birds collided with the windows of the McCormick Place exhibition center in Chicago and died, CBS News - 202310.

Section 1: Research and Analysis Reveals High-Frequency Collision Points

On October 4, 2023, nearly a thousand migratory birds collided with the windows of Chicago's McCormick Place exhibition center, resulting in a heart-wrenching scene of bird carcasses strewn across the ground. In early December, Uniview volunteers, in collaboration with property management, surveyed four buildings: China TransInfo Technology Co., Ltd. (Beijing Campus, Small Garden), Uniview Headquarters (Hangzhou High-rise Campus, 22 floors + 8 floors in an L shape), North Division (40 floors high-rise, Beijing's densely built area), and Shenzhen Research (ordinary building, 12 floors).

At the Uniview Headquarters, nine dead birds, mainly sparrows, were found, with one sparrow even shattering the glass upon impact. On-site analysis revealed that the fourth floor of the R&D building faces south, where sunlight casts shadows onto the glass curtain wall. Sparrows flying from the nearby woods collide here and fall onto the outer terrace of the fourth floor. These birds fly at low altitudes, typical of urban bird collisions.

Regarding migratory bird collisions, a whole pane of glass shattered in the 20th-floor bathroom of the Uniview Headquarters, but it was difficult to locate bird carcasses due to the surrounding shrubbery. Hangzhou lies along one of the world's busiest migratory bird routes, with migratory birds often active in the Qiantang Bay Wetland Park (Xiasha), located 13 km from the Uniview Headquarters.

Image 3 - After inspection, collision points were identified and causes were analyzed.

Section 2: Strategy and Solution - Bird Collision Prevention Stickers + Intelligent Algorithm

For buildings with glass curtain walls, bird collision prevention stickers can be applied to mark them. IFAW designed stickers that adhere electrostatically to the glass surface, forming a dot matrix pattern. Two hundred sets were strategically placed at high-frequency bird collision locations on the fourth floor of the R&D building. Initially, the electrostatic stickers would fall off after prolonged exposure to sunlight, leading to the development of a method involving spraying, sticking, scraping, and careful removal of air bubbles (also part of the intelligence engineering process).

The "Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals" designates April 1st as "International Bird Loving Day." With life bearing its scars, Uniview engineers hope to make the world a slightly better place through their technology.

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