Improving the scientific estimate of mortalities from bird-window collisions in Toronto (K2A52-13-9104)

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Tender Notice


Publishing status
Days to closing
7 years 9 months ago


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2014/04/04 15:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
National Capital Region
Notice type
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Procurement entity
Environment Canada
End user entity
Environment Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Davis, Shawn
Contact phone
Contact address
351, boul. Saint-Joseph
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0H3

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Improving the scientific estimate of mortalities from bird-window collisions in Toronto

Intellectual Property

The Crown has determined that any intellectual property arising from the performance of the Work under the Contract will vest in Canada, on the following grounds: 

6.4 	    Where the main purpose of the Crown Procurement Contract, or of the 
          deliverables contracted for, is:

6.4.1  To generate knowledge and information for public dissemination; 


To allow Environment Canada to better target conservation actions for migratory birds through improving our scientific estimate of mortalities from bird-window collisions in Toronto by estimating the proportion and types of buildings that are covered by existing surveys, and estimating the detectability of dead birds with respect to levels of scavenging and searcher efficiency. 


Newly-published Environment Canada research indicates that mortality of birds from collisions with windows is the second largest source of human induced bird mortality in Canada.   Environment Canada’s mandate to protect and conserve migratory birds under the Migratory Birds Convention Act means that we are exploring the best ways to manage and mitigate this source of bird mortality.  This necessitates having precise information to help us understand where to best target conservation actions.

The data that contributed to the current mortality estimate is accurate enough to give us a broad sense of the scale of the bird mortality caused by buildings.  The estimate is largely based on data collected by the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) in Toronto, which uses volunteers to collect injured and dead birds killed by collision with buildings.  However, Environment Canada requires the collection and analysis of additional data in order to generate more accurate estimates than can be obtained with the existing data and protocols. Specifically, supplemental information must be collected on searcher effort and efficiency, area available and area searched, and scavenging rates in order to improve the accuracy of existing estimates.

In particular, this additional information differs from the data that has been collected to date using FLAP’s existing field protocol, as it is designed to cover a more representative cross-section of tall buildings in an urban core (rather than just the buildings that are known to be of significant threats to birds, which are the locations where FLAP collects its information in Toronto).  This is a clear information need that is explicitly addressed in the recently published scientific paper on bird mortality from buildings in a discussion of next steps to better improve our estimates of the level of mortality: 

“We suggest that the following are the most pressing needs for gathering data to calibrate future estimates: …Sampling studies of mortality at tall buildings and in urban cores designed to include buildings with a variety of architectural features and buildings not thought to be predisposed to causing mortality, including standardizing search effort.”

Improved information generated from this work will allow Environment Canada to target conservation messaging broadly to Canadians, and specifically compliance promotion and Beneficial Management Practices outreach to the owners/managers of buildings that pose the greatest risk to migratory bird conservation.  Additionally, it will improve our understanding of the species composition of mortality from buildings, allowing Environment Canada to take targeted action to address situations that are particularly high risk for at-risk species, including those migratory birds listed under the Species at Risk Act.  


The scope of this study is to collect and analyze new field data on building types and their distribution in Toronto in relation to the subset of buildings already sampled by the existing field protocol (which has been developed and implemented by FLAP).  Additionally, it includes collecting and analyzing new field data on rates of detection of birds killed from building collisions in Toronto (from scavenging and searcher efficiency).  This information will provide additional parameters that can be used to refine estimates of the mortalities from bird-window collisions in Toronto, and will allow Environment Canada to more effectively target conservation actions to deliver on our mandate under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.


Determine the area searched by volunteers under the existing field protocol that was used to generate the existing estimate of bird mortality from tall buildings, including details on locations, types and features of buildings that are searched.  Existing data and protocols often only include building addresses and lack any other ancillary information about the area that was searched compared to the total area that could be searched.

Determine the detectability of dead birds from scavenging losses and searcher efficiency in the areas surveyed by conducting a field experiment with a new protocol. No information of this nature is being collected currently and it requires a specialized scientific design outside the scope of existing field protocols.

Statement of Work:

The Contractor must complete the following tasks:

Task 1: Enumeration of the area searched under the existing field protocol that has been developed and run by FLAP including noting which buildings are searched, which façades of those buildings are searched under, and which buildings are not searched. This would be a daily tally tied to hours of search effort at each location. Building details (height and other parameters) would be included in the data file for this effort.

Task 2: Enumeration of the architectural features of each searched building that prevents birds from being found. This includes elevated ledges, inaccessible low rooftops surrounding higher buildings or other similar areas unavailable for searchers. This differs from #1 above as it is measure of searchable area per searchable building as opposed to searched buildings compared to unsearched buildings.

Task 3: A new experiment to determine the losses of carcasses due to scavenging in the area covered by the existing field protocol.

Task 4: A new experiment to determine the efficiency of searchers at discovering carcasses in the area covered by the existing field protocol.

The work is to be conducted in 2 migration periods (Spring 2014 & Fall 2014).

Information from FLAP that the contractor requires to conduct any parts of Tasks 1 through 4 will be made available by Environment Canada as a result of a licencing agreement to be established with FLAP.

Project Description and Deliverables:

The Contractor must provide the following deliverables:

Deliverable 1: Work plan and experimental design for approval, including copies of applicable permits for the work.

Deliverable 2: Draft results and evaluation of designs after first sampling period in Spring 2014.

Deliverable 3: Revised experimental design, if applicable, for approval.

Deliverable 4: Report with data and final results.

Data to be provided in MS Excel or MS Access format, including a full description of any numerical or letter codes used. Reports to be provided in MS Word format.


Deliverable 1 is due 3 weeks prior to starting any sampling.

Deliverable 2 is due within 2 months of the completion of first sampling period.

Deliverable 3 is due July 15, 2014.

Deliverable 4 is due within 3 months of the completion of the last sampling period.

Milestone Payment:

33% of the total professional fees will be paid following the completion, submission and acceptance of Deliverable 1.

33% of the total professional fees will be paid following the completion, submission and acceptance of Deliverable 2.

34% of the total professional fees will be paid following completion, submission and acceptance of Deliverables 3 and 4.

Project Cost:

•	Environment Canada has established funding for this project at a maximum amount of $45,000.00 excluding applicable tax.

Total value of contract not to exceed $45,000.00 (excluding applicable tax).

This covers the period from date of award to January 30, 2015.

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Solicitation Documents

FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
k2a52-13-9104_eng_terms.pdf001English- Not available
k2a52-13-9104_fre_terms.pdf001French- Not available