Birds behave as if sheet glass is invisible to them. They kill themselves striking clear and reflective panes in all types and sizes of human-built structures the world over. The killing is indiscriminate, taking the fit and unfit species, of any age category – both common and of conservation concern. Window-kills occur in the billions worldwide annually. The victims are always unintended, unnecessary, harmless, and have no voice or other means to protect themselves.
The science documenting this significant scale of loss has been known for decades, but only recently have meaningful efforts to address the problem occurred. Here, Dr Daniel Klem, Jr., describes and summarizes the challenges and solutions to this important conservation issue for birds and people that can be used by, among others, architects and developers, legislators, legal professionals, urban planners, and homeowners alike.
Unlike the complexities of other environmental challenges, such as climate change, this important conservation issue for birds and people can be solved, and the means to do so are described within the pages of this work to guide this worthy effort.
The author's 44 years of scientific research have revealed answers to creating proven bird-safe products for sale. This book ultimately tries to make the case that such a commitment is worthwhile and needed.
Daniel Klem, Jr. is a Professor of Biology and Sarkis Acopian Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Among other diverse avian investigations, for 46 years and continuing to the present he studies, writes, and teaches about the threat that sheet glass and plastic pose to birds. Considered the foremost scientific expert on avian mortality attributable to windows, he regularly prepares up-to-date review articles on the topic and is supported by research grants from government agencies, non-government organisations, and industry to evaluate methods to prevent these unintended and unwanted tragedies, by retrofitting existing windows and developing new bird-safe panes for remodelling and new construction. His research has resulted in U.S. patents to guide the development of novel films and windows using ultraviolet (UV) signals that birds see and humans do not. He is motivated by available and growing evidence that bird-window collisions are an important animal welfare, architectural, legal, and wildlife conservation issue for birds and people worldwide.
"It is not exaggeration or hyperbole to say that there is no one on the planet who has devoted as much time and effort studying the perilous relationship between birds and glass as Dr. Daniel Klem has and, consequently, few people can write as authoritatively and holistically about that relationship. With Solid Air, Dr. Klem expertly weaves together the threads of his own scientific and personal journey, along with the contributions of myriad other researchers, volunteers and advocates, to create a comprehensive exploration of the causes of – and, critically, the solutions to – bird-glass collisions. Solid Air is an invaluable addition to the bird-glass collision literature and everyone – whether they are unfamiliar with the glass collision issue or already have an extensive background and understanding – will benefit from this immensely readable and absorbing book."
– John Rowden, PhD Senior Director, Bird-Friendly Communities, National Audubon Society
"A thorough, important, and ultimately hopeful review of everything that is known about bird-window collisions, by the world's leading expert in the field. This book is filled with useful information that should help all of us tackle this insidious problem."
– David Allen Sibley, author & illustrator of the Sibley Guides to Birds
"Solid Air is an important read for conservation-oriented people, backyard bird enthusiasts, ornithologists, students, architects, landscapers, builders, urban planners, window manufacturers, and especially anyone contemplating a nice, airy building with lots of large windows. This is a handbook for anyone wanting to keep birds from hitting windows."
– Jerome Jackson, Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University and Florida Gulf Coast University
"Having worked with Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr. for many years to build awareness of bird collisions in North America, we are delighted to see his unparalleled expertise come to literary fruition. Dr. Klem has brought his signature charm to this book, along with a wealth of information about bird strikes, their cause, and what can be done to prevent them. At once technically thorough and down to earth, Solid Air is a must-read for bird conservationists and sustainably-minded building professionals."
– Charles Alexander Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Walker Glass
"Solid Air weaves together Dr. Klem's data-driven research with light-hearted storytelling of his tireless effort to raise awareness and help reduce the alarming avian mortality rate attributed to glass in the built environment. The concepts and guidelines outlined in this book must be part of every architect, designer, and planner's vocabulary and is critical to protecting our local and global ecosystems through responsible design and construction."
– Kate Scurlock, AIA GWWO Architects