Have questions? Check out our FAQs
What are the goals of the GBR?
The goal of Global Bird Rescue (GBR) is to raise global awareness on the issue of bird-building collisions. GBR objective include the following:
- To rescue as many birds as possible that have collided with buildings throughout the 7-day event
- Create a united front of initiatives focusing on the issue across the globe
- Contribute to research through community science
- Demonstrate bird collisions aren’t a localized issue. Everyone is involved.
- Record collision data for all forms of human-built structures with glass and/or night lighting.
- To inspire policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development
Who can participate?
Anyone can participate in this event! We encourage participants to engage their friends and family to help raise awareness about Global Bird Rescue. You can register either as a team (community, organization, institution, office, government body, etc.) or an individual (home/cottage owner, business owner, employee, etc.)
The more people participating, the bigger the difference we’ll make!
How do you participant in GBR?
Each year during the first week of October, GBR participants are encouraged to search their communities for bird collisions and document these encounters. A participant can contribute on their own or can be part of a group. There is no minimum time requirement to participate during the event. An individual and/or team can commit to daily and/or nightly patrols or they can simply record any collisions they happen to encounter during their daily travels.
- Each GBR Participant will need to register on the Global Bird Collision Mapper (GBCM).
- When registering as a GBR Team, each team will require a team leader. The team leader will need to fill out the GBR form located directly above these FAQs.
- GBR Teams must read and agree to the Event Rules and Guidelines in the Global Bird Rescue Manual.
- GBR Teams are asked to help promote the event and recruit additional participants.
- A participant working alone only has to register on the GBCM.
- To best prepare for this event, you are encouraged to familiarize yourselves with all of the resources on this webpage in order to make your experience more successful and rewarding.
Who/what stands to gain from this event?
First and foremost BIRD SPECIES, mainly through policy, standards, legislation, building code and ordinance development. Birds will also benefit from those participants that manage to rescue the living.
As a participant, you benefit through protecting bird species in your area that protect our natural environment. You also help benefit the world through helping protecting bird species that control insect populations, pollinate plants, distribute seeds, bird watching industry.
Is this a fundraising event?
As this is a pilot project; we continue to fine tune the structure of this program. Our goal is this to be come an annual event. Meanwhile, FLAP Canada is exploring the potential for a fundraising component in the near future.
When is the event?
GBR is an annual event that takes place during the first week in October.
What is the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an online geo-mapping tool designed for registered users to report the locations of bird collisions with buildings across the globe. One can enter these records from their laptop, tablet or mobile device. The details of each report can be seen by anyone who visits birdmapper.org/app/.
Why use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an international bird collision database designed to help better understand where and to what degree collisions are occurring. There are currently over 12,500 recorded entries in the Global Bird Collision Mapper. Your participation in Global Bird Rescue will not only help demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, it will help inspire further development of effective preventative measures and standards designed to protect bird species.
How do you use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
To learn about how to use Global Bird Collision mapper, visit the Mapper FAQs.
How do I create a group on the Mapper?
To create a group in the Global Bird Collision Mapper, simply fill out the group request form at the bottom our GBR Manual and email it to email@example.com. We will create the group and add members for you. Once individuals are registered as part of a group, they can submit reports independently or as a group entry. Make sure to indicate you want to create a group in the subject line of your email.
What is a community scientist?
A community scientist is a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with professional scientists or scientific institutions. Community scientists may work alone or in teams, and in the case of Global Bird Rescue, will be gathering bird-building collision data for use in scientific studies.
Who do I contact for answers to additional questions?
- For questions regarding Global Bird Rescue and Global Bird Collision Mapper (accounts, registering, groups, etc) are to email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For general questions regarding bird safe practices and bird-building collisions, you can visit birdsafe.ca and flap.org, or email us directly at email@example.com.
Who is coordinating Global Bird Rescue?
FLAP Canada developed and launched GBR in 2018 and is the central contact for this event. FLAP Canada was the first organization in the world to focus on the issue or bird-building collisions helping place the issue on the bird conservation map. For over 25 years FLAP staff and volunteers have worked to safeguard migratory birds through research, education, policy development, rescue and rehabilitation.
What can my contribution lead to?
Every bird that you manage to rescue is a bird that otherwise would not have made it. The collision reports that you contribute will directly fuel research that aims to safeguard bird species. This research will not only go to inspiring bird-friendly standards and policies, it will also go towards developing bird-deterrent solution for home and business owners alike. Additionally, every person that you share this event can help raise awareness about the critical and little known issue of bird-building collisions.
Do I need any tools to participate in this event?
The only tool you that is essential for you to participate in GBR is a computer or cellular device with Internet access. A digital camera to take photos of each bird you encounter is encouraged.
Our Mapper tool is a web-based application that can be accessed from your home or on the go. Login to this application when you see a bird that has collided with a building. When patrolling your neighbourhood for birds, here is a list of additional tools that will come in handy to safely catch and transport injured birds:
- Non-waxed brown paper bags in various sizes
- Paperclips or binder clips
- Nylon net with tight mesh to prevent snags
- Method of carrying birds; roomy backpack or large bag
- Camera or camera phone to take pictures of downed birds
- Phone numbers of local wildlife rehabilitation centre
Are there effective techniques that help improve bird search efficiency?
When searching for bird-building collisions at your home or in your community, FLAP Canada recommends you keep the following tips in mind:
- First and foremost, respect private property and don’t put yourself at risk of injury
- Birds generally fall within 1.5 meters (5 feet) of a building’s base
- Birds are difficult to see on the ground when they fall into vegetation or onto rock piles
- Injured birds are known to seek cover by tucking themselves in corners at the base of buildings
- Be sure to look up and through transparent overhangs for those birds that fall onto ledges
- Look for building facades with large panes of uninterrupted glass
- Properties with treed landscapes tend to attract more birds
- Neighboring green spaces such as parks and ravines attract even more birds toward property
- Birds often collide on sides of buildings less traveled by humans
- See-through effects such as linkways, skywalks, transit shelters, solariums, noise barriers, large glass lobbies and glass corners are also lethal to birds
- Look for feather smears on glass. This can often be the only sign that a window collision ever occurred
- Look for clusters of feathers on the ground. This is usually an indicator that a collision victim’s body has been scavenged by a local predator
When do birds collide with windows?
Birds collide with windows all hours of the day and primarily during spring and fall migration. To a migratory bird, glass is invisible and is therefore a lethal obstacle. Daytime collisions occur when birds see the exterior landscape reflected in windows or they see beyond the glass to interior vegetation. Where windows meet at the corners, or line up with each other front and back (i.e., glass walkways, solariums, greenhouses), birds perceive this as a clear passage and try to fly through to the trees they see on the other side.
Nighttime collisions occur because most species of songbirds migrate at night. The night lighting used in dense urban areas confuses migratory birds, and especially on foggy or rainy nights when cloud cover is low.
What should I do if I find an injured bird?
When a bird hits a building it needs a quiet, dark, safe place to rest and recuperate. If you find a bird on the ground by a building, gently place the bird inside an un-waxed paper bag or a small cardboard box. Handle the bird as little as possible. Make sure that the bag or box is closed. If you’re using a cardboard box, poke a few air holes so the bird can breathe. Use clean tissues or paper towels, rolled into a donut shape, as a perch for the bird to sit upright. Never feed the bird or give it water.
If the bird recovers after one hour, you will hear it fluttering inside the bag or box. Take the bird to a park, a ravine or another open area far away from windows and buildings. Slowly open the bag or box and let the bird fly out. You have just saved the life of a migratory bird.
If the bird remains unresponsive after one hour, take it to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility. Try the below links to find a facility near you:
What do I do if I find a dead bird?
Tragically, an estimated 65% of birds that collide with buildings die on impact. Instead of leaving the bird to be scavenged or stepped on, consider contacting a local museum, university, college, or educational institute to see if they would be interested in obtaining specimens for research purposes. Deposit the bird in a Ziploc bag and place it in a cool location until it can be transported to an interested party. If you are unable to pass the body off for research purposes, check with state or provincial laws regarding disposal. Otherwise, place the bird in a trash container where it will be out of the reach of children, pets or scavengers.
How can I help spread the word?
Please share this event on your social media and to your friends and family. The idea of this campaign is to reach as many people as possible and raise awareness about the issue of bird-building collisions. Refer people to our website and our Facebook page for more information about the event and what they can do to save bird species.
Can I fundraise for this event?
First and foremost, Global Bird Rescue is an awareness campaign on bird-building collisions. As this campaign is a pilot project, participants are to refrain from any fundraising activities associated with this event or other projects. FLAP Canada plans to develop a fundraising component for the campaign in the near future, provided it shows promise for future years.
How do I volunteer with a local GBR Team?
To volunteer for a team, simply locate an active group in your region from our list of GBR Teams. This list can be found by scrolling up from the FAQs where you will see our list of team logos on the left-hand side. Most of these logos have a link to their official website with their contact information. Consider creating your own initiative if a team does not exist in your region.
How do I start a local initiative?
To learn more about how to start a local bird rescue initiative in your region visit https://flap.org/start-a-program.php.
What is the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper (GBCM) is an online geo-mapping tool designed for registered users to report the locations of bird collisions with buildings. The details of each report can be seen by anyone who visits GBCM.
Why use the Global Bird Collision Mapper?
The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an international bird collision database designed to help better understand where and to what degree collisions are occurring. Your participation in Global Bird Rescue will not only help demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, it will help inspire further development of effective preventative measures and standards designed to protect bird species.
How do I enter a collision record into the Mapper?
To enter a collision record, you need to start by creating an account. To the right of the Mapper header, there is an account icon that will pull up the login window. At the bottom of the login window is the register option. Once you have entered your account information, you will need to verify your email address. Once you are logged on to your BirdSafe® Mapper account, you can enter a collision report under the menu icon.
Do I need to identify a bird species in my Mapper report?
You are not required to identify individual bird species to report collisions. In fact, we discourage entering a species name unless you are skilled at bird identification. We do however encourage including a photo of the bird for the purpose of possible identification at a later time.
If you wish to familiarize yourself with bird species to aid with identification, there are several excellent bird identification guides available for purchase at your local bookstore. The Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of North America and National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America are both good guides. In addition, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a phone app called Merlin Bird ID, which is able to identify the possible species of a bird with a photo.
Why can’t I locate the building on the map where I found the bird?
Explore different basemaps when you can’t locate a building on the default topographic map. The satellite map tends to be the most up-to-date map. The option for basemaps can be found in the navigation drop down.
How do I access my reports?
To access your collision reports, you can either locate your report on the map, or search for your entries under the “Explore the Data” under the menu icon. Enter your username into the “From a specific observer” bar. Once you have pressed enter, your reports will show up on the map and you can either click on them individually or scroll through them in the total reports.
How do I edit or delete a report?
Currently you can only edit one of your entries within 7 days of creating it. Once you have found the specific report you want to edit on the map, you can select the report and click the small edit button in the bottom left corner.
If accidentally made an entry and want it deleted, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the specific report and we will delete the record for you.
How do I create a group on the Mapper?
To create a group in the Bird Collision Mapper, simply fill out the group request form at the bottom our GBR Manual and email it to email@example.com. We will create the group and add members for you. Once individuals are registered as part of a group, they can submit reports independently or as a group entry. Make sure to indicate you want to create a group in the subject line of your email.
Why am I not able to edit my collision records?
You have up to 1 week (7 days) to modify a collision record after initial entry.
Why are my collision entries not showing in the correct location?
To ensure the accuracy of a collision location, locate the building on the map where you found the bird. This can be done in one of two methods:
- enter the address of the building into the Find address or place box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
- click the Use my location icon at the top left-hand corner of the Report Collision form. Click this icon 2 or 3 times to assure accuracy.
Once you have located the building on the map, identify the side of the building where the bird was found and zoom in to a closer magnification before clicking on the map to enter you record.
Why can’t I find the building on the map where I found the bird, even after I press the ‘Find my location’ icon?
You will find that pressing the ‘Find my location’ icon isn’t always accurate. To ensure you are entering a collision record at the correct location, consider entering the building address into the ‘Find address or place’ field located in the GBCM header.
Why am I not receiving my verification code to register with the GBCM?
When registering as a GBCM user, it can take up to 20 minutes to receive a verification code. Be sure to check your junk mail if the verification code doesn’t arrive.
Can I be part of more than one GBR Team?
Yes! Once you have a personal account, you can be part of multiple groups. You will need to contact the group(s) you wish to join with a request to be a part of their group.
Why do I need to include the side of a building in a report?
The side of a building is important because a building can have multiple sides and facades. By indicating which side of the building the bird struck, you are helping to identify the highest collision risk areas for birds.
What is the Mapper Widget?
The Mapper Widget is a web-based counter that provides a real-time total of bird collisions entered into the Global Bird Collision Mapper during the Global Bird Rescue event.
Where do I get the Mapper Widget?
To help increase awareness and follow Global Bird Collision Mapper entries as they happen, you can add the below 2 widgets to your website:
Simply copy and paste the code from the Mapper Widget Code pdf into the body of your website index file.
Why can’t I submit my report on the mapper?
Every field in the “Report Collision” box needs to be filled out. If you have filled everything out and still cannot click “Submit”, confirm that the “Longitude and Latitude” at the top of the box contains coordinates. If you do not see coordinates, then follow one of two steps:
When entering records live: Click the “Use My Location” icon at the top left-hand side of the “Report Collision” box, then zoom in on the map and click on the side of the building where the bird was found. You will see a red opaque circle appear. This should now allow you to submit the record.
When entering backdated records: Type the location where the bird was originally found into the “Find address or place” field at the top right-hand corner of the GBCM interface. Zoom in on the map and then click on the side of the building where the bird was found. You will see a red opaque circle appear. This should now allow you to submit the record.