Genesee Valley BirdMapper Team

The Genesee Valley BirdMapper Team is a group of local volunteers in greater Rochester NY area working to make a contribution to the worldwide Global Bird Rescue. Anyone can help by monitoring an area for window strike victims and entering observations into the BirdMapper app.

Global Bird Rescue

September 30 — October 6, 2019

The Global Bird Rescue (GBR) is an annual week-long community science initiative to collect data on window collisions during fall migration. This year’s GBR Event is the week of Sept. 30–Oct. 6. For more information, visit the Global Bird Rescue website.

Window Strike Casualties in Rochester
What can I do to help?

If you’re interested in helping, please make an account in the BirdMapper app, and then to be added to the Genesee Valley team, complete the Team Sign-Up Form.

You could commit as much or as little time as you wish. You can help out just one or two mornings, or as many days during the week as you want to. The best time of day to look for window strike victims is early in the morning. If you can’t do mornings, any time of day is alright.

What should I do if I find a dead bird?

If you find a dead bird, take a photo of the bird and a photo of its surroundings. Make a note of the nearest building and the side of the building where the bird was found (i.e. north, south, east, or west). Submit this information to the BirdMapper app.

If you are able to safely and legally (without trespassing) retrieve a deceased bird, it should be placed in a plastic freezer bag and delivered to the Team Coordinator (tateb@geneseo.edu). If the body is not too damaged or decomposed, it will be donated to a school or museum.

You may wish to wear disposable latex or nitrile gloves when handling dead birds.

If you find a bat, dead or alive, do not attempt to handle it unless you are trained to do so and are vaccinated for rabies.

What should I do if I find an injured bird?

If you are able to safely and legally (without trespassing) retrieve an injured bird, gently place it in a cardboard box or paper bag and contact East Ridge Animal Hospital. Do not place a live bird in a plastic bag. Do not attempt to give food or water to the bird. Our goal is to transport the bird to a rehab facility as quickly as possible.

Your own safety should be your top priority! Almost all birds will attempt to bite or scratch you when you pick them up. You may wish to wear gloves when handling live birds. Birds of prey and herons can be especially dangerous. Do not attempt to handle birds of prey without protective gear. Do not handle herons without eye protection. Contact the Team Admins (click here for contact list) for assistance with birds of prey, herons, or any other large birds.

If you find a bat, dead or alive, do not attempt to handle it unless you are trained to do so and are vaccinated for rabies.

Where should I search for window strike victims?

You can survey any area. We recommend choosing an area that’s convenient for you, is accessible to the public, and has a high risk of window collisions. Window collisions are more likely to occur near bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, and the lakefront. Buildings with large glass facades are the most dangerous for migrating birds.

The highest rate of window collisions is expected to be in the Rochester City Center, due to the combination of high-rise buildings, glass facades, and the Genesee River, which serves as a landmark for some birds during migration.

What kind of supplies do I need?

Recommended:

  • Phone with camera
  • Freezer bags—for dead birds
  • Paper bags—for live birds
  • Latex or nitrile gloves

Optional:

  • Backpack—for carrying your supplies
  • Net—for capturing injured birds
  • Binoculars—to search for birds at a distance
Is Rochester City Center safe?

In 2018, the rate of violent crime in the City Center was lower than that of most other Rochester neighborhoods. However, crime can occur anywhere. We recommend surveying for window collision victims with a partner or small group.

The most significant hazard for pedestrians in Rochester City Center is not violent crime but rather traffic accidents. For your safety, use crosswalks, obey all traffic signals, and always look both directions before crossing a street.

Can I work with a partner?

Yes! Working together is highly encouraged. If you would like to survey a route with a partner, leave a message on our Discussion Forum.

I need help! Who should I contact?

If you have a non-urgent question, please contact the Team Coordinator, Brandon Tate, by email at tateb@geneseo.edu.

For assistance with an injured bird, or for any other urgent matter, contact the Team Coordinator by phone at 706-566-2830. If you don’t get an answer, reach out to other Team Admins on the Contact List.