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Birds Protection Law

In a published scientific paper - http://www.ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art6/ - Environment Canada (EC) ranked window collisions as the second highest direct human cause of bird deaths in Canada, estimating that 16 million to 42 million (25 million mid-point) birds die from window collision annually in Canada.

Are there laws in Canada that protect birds? Yes there are. And they include reflected light regulation. Are there penalties? There are.

In Canada, jurisdiction over birds is divided between federal and provincial governments. In a growing number of jurisdictions, it is an offence to kill or injure birds even though you are simply doing it be reflective windows on your buildings.


1. IT IS AN OFFENSE UNDER ONTARIO LAW TO EMIT REFLECTED LIGHT THAT KILLS OR INJURES BIRDS.

2. IT IS AN OFFENSE UNDER THE CANADIAN SPECIES AT RISK ACT TO KILL OR INJURE BIRDS EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE SIMPLY DOING IT BY REFLECTIVE WINDOWS ON YOUR BUILDINGS.

Information on those may be found in public record. Here are a few:

It is also an offence under Ontario law to remit reflected light that kills or injures birds:


“Judge Green’s legal analysis of the actus reus (the substance of each offence) is impeccable and will set an important precedent: emission and reflections of light from buildings, which lure birds to their deaths, do breach the Environmental Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act.”

Dianne Saxe, Environmental Lawyer.

“In Ontario, the law is now clear: owners or operators of commercial buildings that reflect light that deludes birds into fatal or injurious collisions are in violation of the law. The federal Species at Risk Act is equally clear: the unintentional killing or injuring of listed (Threatened or Endangered) bird species in collisions with reflective windows of commercial buildings is an offence.”

Albert Koehl, Ecojustice staff lawyer