Safe Wings Ottawa founder Anouk Hoedeman, local expert on bird- building collisions, will lead a tour of old and new structures in downtown Ottawa to point out the characteristics that make buildings safer or more hazardous for birds. The tour will also include a discussion of challenges and progress on this serious but often overlooked and misunderstood architectural issue.
Bird collisions with buildings are a leading cause of avian mortality, killing an estimated one billion birds per year in North America, including 16 to 42 million in Canada and as many as 500,000 in Ottawa- Gatineau. While many jurisdictions have recognized this grave threat to bird populations by introducing bird-friendly design standards or guidelines, awareness and mitigation of bird collisions are only beginning to gain traction in the National Capital Region.
This tour would encompass commercial and institutional structures within walking distance of the Westin Hotel. The route would include the Shaw Centre, Rideau Centre, Ottawa City Hall and other nearby buildings that serve to illustrate obvious and not-so-obvious traits influencing the rate of bird collisions. The National Arts Centre, currently undergoing an extensive renovation, presents an especially interesting case study: While the redesign is intended to be bird- friendly, Safe Wings Ottawa predicts that it will become far more deadly to birds than in the past.