Stockton University Calls Attention to Bird Strikes

Dec 18, 2019
Photo by: supplied

A new mural at Stockton University covering the glass walls of the K-wing breezeway helps prevent birds from crashing into the windows by eliminating reflections. Due to its expansive, double-sided window space, the breezeway was a major hazard.

John Rokita, ’78, assistant supervisor of Academic Lab Services, has recorded data on 851 window kills at Stockton from 1979 to 2018. He has preserved the dead birds through taxidermy to use for educational purposes and has rehabilitated hundreds that survived the impacts. Alice Sikora of Institutional Research converted the data into a spreadsheet and identified key trends, such as high-impact areas on campus, species impacted and the deadliest months.

The new mural is a collaborative effort among Stockton’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University Relations and Marketing, the Division of Facilities and Operations, and the Biodiversity Committee.

Susan Allen from University Relations and Marketing received a Stockton 20/20 grant to fund the project, and graphic designers Heidi Hartley and Bernard DeLury created the design showing multiple bird species, butterflies and dragonflies.

To a songbird, reflections of sky and forest on glass are indistinguishable from the hard reality. Building collisions are one of the top anthropogenic threats to birds, causing up to one billion bird deaths annually in the U.S., according to scientific estimates.

Viewers can share their view of the artwork and help spread awareness by using the hashtag #WingsAwayFromWindows on social media. —P.J.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.