Guelph City Hall gets bird-safe window murals

Guelph, Ont., October 29, 2021 – The next time you are at Guelph City Hall you may notice the building’s new, temporary window designs.

Guelph-based artist Shelby Bohn created a bird-safe window mural on the arched windows near the building’s front entrance on behalf of Bird Safe Guelph to help stop birds from flying into the ground level windows.

The City of Guelph released its Bird Friendly Design Guideline on October 8, 2021. The guideline, which will be implemented through the Site Plan Review Committee, will help to prevent bird-window collisions from occurring. The guideline was completed as part of the Natural Heritage Action Plan.

“The artwork is intended to bring awareness to this  issue, and to start conversations in the community while providing Guelph residents with a creative example of what a bird-proofed window can look like,” explains Tammy Adkin, manager of Museums and Culture at the City of Guelph.

According to Bird Safe Guelph, in Canada, an estimated 25 million birds fatally collide with windows every year. Birds can’t see glass, and reflections of trees or sky in glass can confuse birds and make them think they can fly through the glass.

One way to prevent these collisions is to disrupt the reflectiveness of the window using white paint markers that are visible to birds, but allow light to flow through. There also needs to be no blank area greater than five centimetres anywhere on the window.

Costs associated with the temporary art project, including artist fees, are covered by a grant awarded to Bird Safe Guelph from Nature Canada. Nature Canada’s ‘Bird Friendly City’ initiative aims to certify at least 30 eligible Canadian cities as being safe for birds by World Migratory Bird Day, May 14, 2022.

About Bird Safe Guelph

Bird Safe Guelph is a team of students, staff, and faculty at the University of Guelph who are dedicated to helping local birds survive and thrive.

About the Artist

Shelby Bohn is an interdisciplinary artist and biology PhD candidate from Dacotah, MB, living in Guelph, ON. Shelby’s creative practice uses analogy, negative space, and repeating motifs to make connections across multiple media and experiences. As an ecologist, Shelby is interested in a deeper understanding of what we are connected to, including ourselves, our collective joy, and our relationships with other beings who share this habitat.

Media contact

Tammy Adkin, Manager
Museums and Culture, Culture and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-836-1221 extension 2775
[email protected]