Check it out: FLAP promotes bird safety with exploding ‘birdies’

The non-profit uses badminton to show the danger birds face in a less graphic way.

The sight of a bird smashing into a hard surface and exploding into a puff of feathers is a disturbing image. But it’s one FLAP Canada hopes is more palatable – but just as effective – in the context of a badminton match.

The non-profit works to improve conditions for migratory birds travelling through urban environment (including the more than 25 million that die colliding with windows each year). It wanted to continue raise awareness of the issue in its annual campaign, but assumed the gruesome image of birds dying en masse could inadvertently turn people off from the cause, according to a press release.

So, instead, FLAP and its Birdsafe subsidiary program (whose goal is to keep birds safe) worked with director Adam William Wilson on a film that turns the sport of badminton into a statement about the need to save “birdies.”

The 60-second spot shows “birdies” flying through the air in slow-motion, many of them running into high-speed impact with players’ rackets. A number of unlucky ones slam onto the floor and evaporate into a cloud of feathers after coming into contact with an invisible glass pane.

The work, which was brought to life with creative director Sean Ganann, editor Dave De Carlo and cinematographer Kris Belchevski, coincides with FLAP’s annual public awareness campaign at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto timed around the spring migration season. The display at the ROM takes a slightly more stark approach to the issue, arranging the bodies of hundreds of taxidermied birds representing those that collide with windows every year.