Georgia Bird Summit 2024

On Saturday, April 20th, EcoReach tabled at the Georgia Bird Fest Summit 2024 at the Classic Center! We were given the chance to share our outreach and talk to those who are just as passionate about birds and protecting them as we are. We highlighted how the Odum School of Ecology has installed bird collision prevention measures – white dots on the outside of our windows – that keep birds from flying into them. This initiative was spearheaded by the Bird Collision Project that Izzy Ragonese (a former EcoReach member), Emma Bay-Dickinson and Dr. Hall accomplished through a sustainability grant.

This project helped cover 16 windows on the outside of the Odum School of Ecology building. This dot pattern helps birds perceive windows as a barrier to flight, preventing mid-flight and territorial bird strikes. For birds, glass windows are worse than invisible. By reflecting foliage or sky, they look like inviting places to fly into. And because the sheer number of windows is so great, their toll on birds is huge. Up to about 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year, according to a 2014 study. Read more about this issue here.

By developing a procedure for retrofitting existing buildings with bird-friendly films, their project has established a way to implement bird-friendly sustainable design on campus.

EcoReach also discussed our Binoculars for Black Birders Project – an initiative that EcoReach spearheaded with the help of the Lilly Branch Audubon Society at UGA to fundraise money to buy binoculars, guides on how to use binoculars, activity booklets to record observations about birds, and guides to common Georgia birds. These materials were put together to create binocular bags that were then distributed to Black students in the Athens K-12 community that teachers were asked to nominate based on interest in ecology and/or birding. This project distributed over 100 binoculars to Black K-12 students, working to reduce the racial gaps that exist in the birding community and encourage interest in birding among Black students in Athens.

EcoReach has also involved the Athens/UGA community in birding through Birding classroom events where we take binoculars to middle schools to show students how to use them, as well as explaining what to look and listen for when trying to spot birds by taking students on short walks in wooded areas behind their schools. Outside of middle school students, EcoReach has organized more general community bird walks to promote an interest in birding among the larger Athens area.

Thank you to those who visited our table during this event!

Interested to find out about upcoming programs and opportunities with EcoReach? Email us at for more information!

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