The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that, in 2011, the 46.7 million bird watchers in the United States and Canada generated a total industry output in excess of $107 billion. In spite of this massive interest in birds, up to one billion birds die each year in Canada and the U.S. when they hit glass windows, walls and other glass structures. This threat is one of the costliest to bird populations, killing an estimated 10-20 percent of the birds in North America. But it’s also a relatively easy problem to solve. The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) and the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) are raising awareness of this issue. There have been two presentations on the subject at IGMA conferences over the past couple of years.

ABC has established a tunnel test that safely uses live birds to screen new glass products to determine whether birds can see them. This tunnel is only active during the spring and fall migration cycles as 80-plus birds are required for each test for statistical validation of a single product. If the results from the tunnel test are positive, ABC will provide a rating for the tested product.

IGMA is working in cooperation with ABC to receive contributions to expand ABC’s capacity for rating glass and doing research related to rating glass by constructing and operating a second tunnel at a new site. This will be beneficial for glass manufacturers because it will significantly loosen the current bottleneck for testing new bird-friendly glass products, a rapidly-expanding market thanks to ABC’s advocacy work and the numerous bird-friendly building codes being passed in the U.S. and Canada, according to IGMA. The new tunnel would be part of ABC’s glass rating program, belong to ABC or an ABC-partner, and would be proofed against the Powdermill tunnel. Funders would be entitled to a number of glass tests that would be negotiated directly with ABC. At least 25 percent of capacity would be devoted to research related to rating samples and deterring collisions and should produce better guidance for new product development.

How to Contribute

The insulating glass industry is invited to submit contributions via check directly to IGMA. Contributions will be accepted through June 30, 2019. One hundred percent of contributions will go to ABC.

Please note that contributions are not tax deductible as a charitable donation but may be deductible as a business expense.

Those wanting to donate can send their contribution to:


Re: ABC Bird Deterrent Glass Research Fund

1769 St. Laurent Blvd., Suite 104

Ottawa, ON. K1G 5X7



  1. Highly worthwhile!

  2. Hello. I’m so grateful that you’ve made this a priority. Is anyone working on a way to make donations tax deductible. Many of us bird lovers spend ridiculous amounts of money on stickers and holographic strands that barely touch the problem of birds hitting windows and I think there could be a lot of cobrtribtions that might become available if a not for profit would pick up this project on your behalf. Our small organization would certainly post a link for such a project.

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