Varied Thrush / Mick Thompson / Eastside Audubon
The ominous thud of a bird striking glass is a terrible yet familiar sound to many of us. It is always sad to find dead birds, but now we can help them leave a legacy by reporting collisions through dBird.
dBird is an online tool that helps us track human-related bird mortality.
We know little about bird-window collisions in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Audubon plans to change that starting with dBird.
Originally developed by New York City Audubon, dBird allows anyone with an internet connection to report dead and injured birds. It takes just a minute or two to submit a report and does not require users to log in or create an account. To date, dBird users have submitted more than 6,000 reports, which were a key part of New York City Audubon’s successful advocacy efforts for city-wide bird-safe building regulations.
Seattle Audubon aspires for city-wide bird-safe building regulation, too.
However, prior to 2021, dBird was built to serve New York City. Organizations in other cities were limited in how they could access data and in which species they could track. New York City Audubon sought funding for several years to update dBird and make it available to more users.
A generous donation to Seattle Audubon made a dBird update possible.
Peregrine Falcon / Steven Sachs / Audubon Photography Awards
In 2020, Seattle Audubon received a landmark gift from Jim and Birte Falconer in support of our Bird-safe Cities initiative. Thanks to their generosity, Seattle Audubon was able to partner with New York City Audubon to update and expand dBird.
Just in time for spring migration, the new platform is taking flight. Now Audubon chapters and other organizations across the continent can track and manage bird mortality and injury data for all North American bird species.
Seattle Audubon will use dBird to improve our understanding of bird-window collisions around Seattle. How many species are impacted? Do some species appear to be at higher risk? Can we identify collision hotspots at which we should focus prevention efforts?
To answer these questions, we will need your help.
You can help save birds by taking the dBird challenge.
Black-throated Gray Warbler / Tracey Lowrey / Audubon Photography Awards
Every dead or injured bird has a story to tell—they just need your help telling it. This spring migration join us in the dBird challenge and keep an eye out for dead birds around your home.
Between April 25 and May 1, 2021, we ask that you take a daily walk around the outside of your home to search for dead or injured birds. If you find any, please report them through dBird.
By participating in the dBird challenge, you’re helping us raise awareness of bird-window collisions as a conservation issue. You’re also helping us develop a local userbase for dBird and any reports you submit improve our local understanding of bird-window collisions and how to prevent them.
When Karen Shea realized how hazardous her windows were to the Varied Thrush, she was heartbroken. But then she took steps to make her windows more visible to birds. While the search for dead birds may feel like a grim exercise, I find reason to hope. Once we clearly see the hazards our homes pose to the birds we love, the path toward healing becomes clear, too.
Take the dBird Challenge
Help make the city safer for birds. Between April 25 and May 1, 2021, join us for a daily search around our homes to report dead or injured birds through dBird.
“I cannot remember how many hit my window, perhaps three, which is three too many.”
—Seattle Audubon member Karen Shea on Varied Thrush colliding with her window