Nature Canada

Saving The World’s Birds: Global Bird Rescue

Have you ever had a bird hit your window at home? At work? During the peak of fall migration in North America, an estimated 4 billion birds will have to navigate through cities, neighbourhoods, and other built environments. With the increased use of glass on buildings, railings, bus shelters and walkways, these areas become a dangerous obstacle. Millions of these birds will not arrive at their winter homes due to a fatal collision with glass. Did you know that you can help ensure they arrive safely?

A dead Red-breasted Nuthatch laying below a commercial building in Downtown Toronto. Reflective and transparent windows are seen.
©Yuko – savebirdsto

Join us for Global Bird Rescue

Global Bird Rescue, October 3-9, 2022, is an annual event held by FLAP Canada in partnership with Nature Canada, that encourages everyone to search for and rescue birds injured from collisions with glass. Anyone can participate and make an impact! Global Bird Rescue Teams and individuals from around the world take to the streets to search for and rescue injured birds, while recording window collisions on the Global Bird Collision Mapper. The data collected during this event, and all year round, inspires home and workplace bird-safe retrofits across the globe. There are currently teams in Canada, the USA, Palestine, China, Costa Rica and Nepal. The event is graciously sponsored by LUSH, Feather Friendly and Niagara Action for Animals.

©FLAP Canada, Patricia Seaton

The Global Bird Collision Mapper

Every bird reported onto the Global Bird Collision Mapper during Global Bird Rescue (and the rest of the year!) helps us further understand the bird-building collision issue and push for bird-safe retrofits on dangerous buildings.

The Global Bird Collision Mapper ( allows a registered user to report the species, location, time and status of the bird they recover, anywhere in the world. This community science tool shows every collision on its interactive GIS map, providing invaluable data.

Other ways to help during Global Bird Rescue

1. Make your windows bird-safe

Did you know the majority of bird collisions happen at low story buildings like homes and cottages? Make your windows bird-safe by following these window marker guidelines to make sure you don’t have any collisions at home this fall. There are products available like Feather Friendly DIY Tape, Acopian BirdSavers, or even DIY options like tempera paint, tape, and even soap. Every window we make bird-safe is a huge step towards protecting birds.

Image showing a window with bird-safe markings on them. One side shows dots, the other side shows criss-crossing lines. Text on the image reads: "Bird-safe Window markings should be:  1. On the outside of the window 2. Covering the entire window 3. Placed every 2 inches 4. Easily visible on the glass 5. Larger than 6mm in diameter."
©FLAP Canada

2. Bird-safe legislation and retrofits

Pushing for bird-safe legislation will ensure that we continue to protect birds. Reach out to your local member of provincial parliament, City Councillors, and let them know about the issue, and that you would like them to support bird-safe legislature. Encouraging retrofits on commercial buildings with known window collisions is another fantastic way to help. Have you witnessed bird collisions at your workplace? Try reaching out to the building manager to let them know that retrofitting the building will save countless birds’ lives.

3. Turn lights off at night

As birds migrate at night, they use the stars to guide them. Bright lights from urban centres can draw birds off course. Once in these urban spaces, they risk colliding with glass. Do you have outside pot lights? Do your neighbours? Try turning these unnecessary outdoor lights off during migration in spring and fall, to help birds by-pass dangerous cities.

You can make a difference

Every single person can help protect birds from fatal collisions with glass. Participating in Global Bird Rescue and helping injured birds, making your home windows bird-safe, pushing for bird-safe legislation, telling your friends, neighbours and family about the issue, are all great ways to make a difference. Every year FLAP Canada picks up thousands of birds. Together, we can reduce these numbers.

Want to Help?

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