• Research

What happens to the dead birds recovered?

With a scientific permit from Canadian Wildlife Service, our in-field volunteers recover thousands of dead birds throughout each Spring and Fall migration season that have died in collisions with windows and buildings.  Annually, we:

  • document the species of each dead bird, the location of the collision and hazards at the location that contributed to the bird’s death
  • tag and freeze dry or store in a common freezer until the end of each migration season
  • sort  and document the dead bird collection according to their species
  • arrange the dead birds in an annual, one-time display
  • photograph the arrangement for a visual record of bird mortality rates
  • use the images for awareness, education and research
  • train volunteers to help them develop bird identification skills

Watch a previous bird layout

Bird Collision Data

We input our collision records into our community science database used worldwide by ornithological and environmental research institutions.

Bird Species List

Since 1993, we have documented over 85,000 birds of 172 species from a handful of buildings in the Greater Toronto Area.

What are ‘At-Risk Species’: Endangered or Threatened?

Canada Warbler

TOP 20 BIRD SPECIES
Victims of Bird-Building Collisions (Toronto)

  1. White-throated Sparrow
  2. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  3. Ovenbird
  4. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  5. Brown Creeper
  6. Dark-eyed Junco
  7. Hermit Thrush
  8. Nashville Warbler
  9. Common Yellowthroat
  10. Black-capped Chickadee
  1. Magnolia Warbler
  2. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  3. Black-and-white Warbler
  4. Black-throated Blue Warbler
  5. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  6. Swainson’s Thrush
  7. American Woodcock
  8. Fox Sparrow
  9. Black-throated Green Warbler
  10. Song Sparrow

TOP 6 BIRD SPECIES-AT-RISK
Victims of Bird-Building Collisions (Toronto)

  1. Wood Thrush
  2. Canada Warbler
  3. Eastern Whip-poor-will
  1. Rusty Blackbird
  2. Chimney Swift
  3. Common Nighthawk

Museum Specimens

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) receives a donation of dead birds for purposes of research and education, including:

  • Study skins: for permanent and teaching collection
  • Skeletons for study
  • Tissue and feather samples
  • Gallery displays and mounts