U of M and San Diego Zoo team up for birds

MGN Online

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KARE) The University of Minnesota has teamed up with the World Famous San Diego Zoo in an experiment to test a way to prevent fatal bird strikes.

The loss of migratory birds has been a topic of discussion in recent years along the Mississippi River flyway.

At the beginning of the 2015 Fall Semester, invisible strips of clear plastic were placed on the glass of a three level skyway on the west bank campus of the U of M. The strips are to remain in place for approximately two years.

"The question is whether or not alternating ultraviolet lines can cause birds to steer away from glass," explained Tim Busse, U of M spokesperson. "It has been studied and it has been debated and it has gone back and forth. There has been some promising results shown in the laboratory, but they wanted to see it in a live situation on glass."

Busse said the entire cost of the project is being borne by the San Diego Zoo. For the University, it is a possible answer to a vexing problem, according to Busse.

"This skyway actually has been an issue for a number of years," said Busse. "If you look around, you have got the decals on the window, hoping to prevent the bird strikes and they have been there as long as I can remember."

The skyway connects Blegen Hall to the Social Sciences building on the West Bank campus.