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Birdsafe Home Tour

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Saturday, August 19th, 2023


Visit Maine’s first “bird-safe” residential building using specialty glass that prevents birds from hitting windows. Up to 1.3 BILLION birds a year are killed by glass as they are unable to perceive it as an impenetrable surface. Collisions happen when birds see the reflection of sky and the surrounding landscape and attempt to fly through it. Many post-construction products have now hit the market to minimize, if not completely eliminate these needless deaths by breaking up the reflection and making the glass “visible” to birds. However, with the planning of our new house, we were able to incorporate some of the permanent solutions from the beginning. Come and take a look at etched glass from Walker Glass and other solutions to see for yourself how you can enjoy the birds out your window without compromising their lives or your view.

A full day of activities beginning with a birdwalk and ending with a keynote speaker are all free and open to the public. Come on by for walks, tours, and information about how all of us can save a billion birds a year! No registration necessary.

This event is sponsored by Flycatcher LLC, Freeport Wild Bird Supply, MW Hoss Construction, Portland Society for Architecture, Simons Architects, and Walker Glass.

All events (except the Keynote presentation - see below) take place in Durham.

9:00am-11:00am: Birdwalk with Derek Lovitch of Freeport Wild Bird Supply

Join Derek for a walk around the property to learn about some of the 130 species of birds that have already been detected on the property. Bird identification, their ecology and natural history, and land management for their benefit will be among the topics discussed. Mud and “unimproved” trails are to be expected.

11:00am: Ecological restoration walk with David Brenneman of Flycatcher, LLC

David Brenneman from Flycatcher LLC worked closely with Derek and Jeannette to develop and implement a wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement plan with a focus on birds. Key aspects of the plan included management of invasive plants, construction of a small pond and converting former potato fields to a meadow. Learn about how the plan was developed and implemented over the last several years and how it benefits and encourages a more diverse range of wildlife species to utilize the property. There will be a short walk through thick vegetation and wet/wooded areas so plan footwear and tick-resistance accordingly.

10:00am-3:00pm: Tables

Chat with the building’s architects, the scientists working on ecological restoration and invasive plant control, and visit Freeport Wild Bird Supply’s table to learn about products that can be applied to your windows at home to prevent birds from hitting your glass windows.  Dr. Daniel Klem, a world-leading expert on the bird-glass collisions issue will be at FWBS’S table to answer questions and sign copies of his book, Solid Air.

10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm: Indoor tour with homeowners

Join the homeowners Derek and Jeannette for a short tour inside to see the view through the bird-safe glass from a different perspective. Take a look at the ultra-high-efficiency ducted heat pump system and other energy-saving components.

4:00pm: Dr. Daniel Klem at Durham’s Eureka Community Center - 606 Hallowell Rd (Rte 9)

Join Dr. Daniel Klem and event sponsors for this free keynote presentation on the science and solutions of the bird-glass collision problem.

Notwithstanding habitat destruction, more birds are annually killed flying into windows than any other human-associated avian mortality factor. 365 million to 1.3 billion birds are killed every year in the US, with nearly one million window-kills each and every day of the year. Billions more are killed annually worldwide. Behaving as if windows are invisible to them, birds are killed striking windows wherever birds and windows coexist. The killing is indiscriminate, taking the fittest as well as less fit members of species populations. The results of research addressing the evaluation of preventing bird-window collisions have revealed several effective methods, but additional education and short- long-term solutions are needed to ensure the human-built environment is safe for birds the world over. We humans can solve this environmental problem. Solutions are known and effective. Only we humans can protect these innocent aesthetically useful creations of Nature we seek to protect for current and future generations.


Daniel Klem, Jr. is Sarkis Acopian Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. His academic degrees include a B.A. from Wilkes College, M.A. from Hofstra University, and PhD from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Klem has spent the last 47+ years studying, writing, and teaching about birds. His extensive resume includes guidance in the establishment of the Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College and Acopian Center for Conservation Learning at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, as well as involvement in several reference projects about the birds of Armenia. Most of Klem’s current research consists of using detailed observations and experiments to evaluate novel bird-window collision deterrent prototypes, preparing review papers describing the historic and latest means to save birds from windows, and serving as a technical consultant to glass manufacturers developing bird-safe sheet glass, various national and international conservation organizations, and local, regional, and federal government agencies the world over.

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