Inspiration and Motivtation are the best resources in the arts and sciences alike. Our favorite injunction to pursue bird-friendly architecture, and wildlife sensitive design in general, is the followng. This Buddhist narrative was first recounted in the “Record of Miracles of Good and Evil Karmic Retribution in the Kingdom of Japan”, compiled by Keikai in the year 787 C.E. Quoting the translation of Donald S. Lopez;:

“Once there was a bhiksu [monk] who lived in the mountains and practised sitting Zen. Every day at his noon meal he would give some of his food to the birds. The birds, therefore, always flocked around him. One day after the bhiksu finished his meal, he cleaned his teeth, washed his hands and picked up a pebble to toss. There was a bird on the other side of the fence where the bhiksu could not see him. When the bhiksu threw the pebble, it hit the bird on the head and killed it. That bird was reborn as a boar, which lived on the same mountain. One day the boar happened to climb a ledge above the bhiksu’s hermitage and dislodged a boulder while grubbing for food. The boulder fell down and killed the bhiksu. The boar intended no harm. The boulder killed by itself...

“If even an unintentional act [i.e., the bhiksu’s killing the bird] results in unintentional retribution [i.e. the bhiksu being killed], then how much more so will murders that are accompanied by evil intentions generate baleful retribution!... Doing good and setting one’s sites on bodhi [enlightenment] is the behaviour of one whose heart is awakened.” Lopez, p. 26.

Birds of course have inspired intellectual and communal aspects of life over the centuries, each bird being a part apart within greater wholes. In European literature, Aristophanes ‘The Birds’ invoked the need to rethink the design of cities long before Hitchcock terrified helpless onlookers in Bodega Bay in the film titled the same. Birds have always been, albeit in very different ways across human efforts, an integral part of life. 

Before the onslaught of glass architecture, buildings were in the main bird-friendly. We highlight examples from across Asia and the world, to inspire contemporary designers to new greatness through heightened sensitivity.

Architecture Literature Science

Quick Fixes

A quick fix to bird-window collisions is simple - soap the window on the exterior face, or affix a screen several centimeters from the exterior face of the glass. There are many products available that one can use too… one can get a sense of this from , or you can download a pdf of the screen cast here.

There are many films and products available, but creative solutions are infinite and can be achieved with little or no financial investment. Each of the organizations listed below offer products for sale and inspiration:

Affiliate Organizations Dedicated to Ending Bird-window Collisions

We at Save a Billion Birds! have no intention of duplicating the work of others. That being said, there are wonderful organizations dedicated to bird-collision mitigation already out there. Our purpose is to support research, and to advocate for our own part those aspects of photobiology and architecture that are necessary to solve the challenge completely. 

Please find below dedicated pages of like-minded organizations dedicated to solving the bird-window collision crisis (and it is a crisis).

 The American Bird Conservancy

FLAP Canada

Audubon Society National

Please contact The Zoological Lighting Institute directly at for more information, and we can discuss your specific sponsorship needs directly. We will not endorse products directly, but will comment upon what we believe works and doesn’t. Our stance at present is that unprotected reflective and transparent glass kills birds, and so should not be used. Beyond that however, we can help individuals and corporate clients to remediate existing windows, and to design new projects without this hazardous material.

DONATE to SAVE A BILLION BIRDS BY CLICKING THIS LINK! Save a Billion Birds!™ is a registered trademark of The Zoological Lighting Institute