Up to a billion birds perish each year from colliding with buildings in the United States. During the day, reflective surfaces can be invisible to birds and at night, bright lights disorient migrating species. Since monitoring began in the fall of 2014, over 900 birds from 89 different species have been collected and studied in Atlanta.
At the 2018 Greenspace Hackathon, I joined Adam Betuel of the Atlanta Audubon Society and 10 other volunteers to raise awareness about bird collisions within our community.
The Design Challenge
We only had a weekend to use resources from the Atlanta Audubon Society to raise awareness of bird collisions. Using data on bird/building collisions provided by the Atlanta Audubon Society we narrowed in on two pain specific pain points:
- Lack of knowledge about the issue of bird collisions in Atlanta
- Poor clarity of reports that must be manually sorted through by one person, with species misidentification being the biggest issue
And we focused on three opportunities:
- Providing easily digestible information to increase awareness and engagement among the general public
- Sharing real-time data that shows the impact of this issue in Atlanta in an interactive map
- Simplifying the reporting process to improve the quality of submissions and reduce time spent sorting through them
We began our call to action with a clear introduction of issue with enough details to build knowledge, staying positive by focusing on the actionable steps regular people can take to help.
The REPORT action includes quick explanation of why reports are needed and includes links to join the Lights Out pledge to reduce unnecessary lighting and to join the monitoring project as a volunteer. We also included two maps using using the Google Maps Visualization library and Audubon Society data: a heat map to identify hot-spots for collisions, and a point map for more detailed location and species information.
To further improve the reporting process by engaging citizen scientists around the world to help identify species through photos shared on social media. Possible Twitter integration. Because we focused mostly on empowering the layperson for the MVP, we want to add resources for engaging businesses and local government. Increasing the educational content by adding a bird identification guide to increase accuracy of reports