Small but Mighty
Since 1993, FLAP Canada has worked tirelessly to protect birds from harm in the built environment. Our work started as a grassroots effort to protect birds from the danger of light pollution by rescuing songbirds that had collided with buildings at night in Toronto. This tradition continues today but has grown to include daytime bird rescue patrols. Since FLAP’s inception, we have recovered nearly 100,000 injured and dead birds from 173 species, including Species at Risk.
In 1995, FLAP Canada partnered with World Wildlife Fund Canada to launch the first ever Lights Out initiative: the Bird-Friendly Building Program. Building managers turned off their lights at night to help migrating birds. This innovative campaign sparked dozens of similar initiatives across North America.
As we continued to collect data on the issue, our advocacy work grew to highlight an even greater risk to birds: daytime collisions with glass. These efforts eventually led the City of Toronto to adopt Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines in 2007, a world first. Since then, a multitude of other cities across North America and abroad have followed suit by adopting bird-safe guidelines. FLAP continues to provide guidance and support for cities that wish to adopt bird-safe standards — we regularly provide our expertise on technical committees.
At the Forefront of Change
Through the years, FLAP Canada has been at the forefront of innovation and change. We have been heavily involved in precedent-setting legal cases that led to the important ruling that killing birds with windows is an environmental offence. We develop and promote new technology to assess buildings for the risk they pose to birds. We routinely collaborate in scientific studies and with commercial manufacturers in the development of bird-safe products. In fact, our collaboration with the Convenience Group led to the development of the first commercial-grade bird-deterrent window markers for building retrofits: Feather Friendly. We are proud of the many fruitful partnerships we have built and continue to build to help fulfill our mission, such as the development of a national bird-safe building standard.
Spreading the Word
Our education and outreach programs have reached millions of people. We regularly present to schools, nature groups, government staff, architects, industry professionals, and more. We run educational campaigns for homeowners to teach them about the danger their windows pose to birds. Our creative methods, including our annual bird layout, have garnered extensive media attention, and inspired other bird conservation groups to hold similar layouts. Our work has been featured in local, national, and international media, including Time, Popular Science, and National Geographic magazines, and in the well-known documentary film, The Messenger.
An Urgent Global Movement to Protect Birds
Today, FLAP Canada continues to be a revolutionary leader in protecting birds in the built environment. And our reach continues to grow at a global level with campaigns like Global Bird Rescue. When you support FLAP, you are supporting an organization with a proven track record of achievement. When you support FLAP, you are helping to keep birds safe from one of the leading causes of bird death world-wide.