Customer Relations Manager
Amber Murphy grew up in a small town on the shore of Lake Erie—a town that she loved, but also couldn’t wait to get away from! Her post-secondary education eventually led her to Venezuela where she studied Spanish for a semester. After a five-year South American odyssey, Amber booked a return ticket home. She lived in Florida for about a year before moving to Buffalo, New York with her brother and her cat.
Amber worked as a call center representative, a Spanish interpreter, a smoking cessation research interviewer, and a social services case worker before moving to Toronto in 2013. The events of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election compelled her to re-focus her life’s direction, and she enrolled in the Environmental Studies program at York University. She worked as an intern for FLAP Canada where she helped investigate the effectiveness of Toronto’s bird-safe building requirements. Bird conservation gave Amber a focus for her own conservation efforts. In September 2019, having just completed her Master’s degree, Amber was thrilled by the opportunity to join the Feather Friendly® team. She sees her work as part of a larger conservation effort to heal humanity’s relationship with the rest of nature, and hopes she can continue to help individuals recognize the connection that exists between all living things, one building, one window, one pane of glass at a time.
More About Amber
What inspired you to get involved in the important cause of Bird Conservation?
I’ve worried about the health of our planet, and species extinction, since I was a child. I wanted to “save the planet” but was overwhelmed by vast scope of the world’s problems and struggled with feelings of disempowerment and depression. They say that “Action is the antidote to depression,” so I went back to school and learned to narrow down my focus. Since I was living in Toronto at the time (which, thanks to FLAP Canada, was the first in the world to address the problem of bird-glass collisions), bird conservation seemed like a natural fit. Once I witnessed the tremendous impact that even a small group of people could have on the problem of bird-glass collisions, I was inspired to get involved, too. I believe that removing this single threat to birds will help the long-term chances of survival for many species.
How do you feel about where the cause is at?
We have made a good start, but we need to do so much more. I’m heartened by the fact that awareness for bird-safe buildings is growing, and that more people, institutions, and businesses are taking steps to address this problem.
What are your hopes for the future regarding Bird Conservation?
Bird-safe measures need to be extended to include existing buildings, which means we need to do a lot of retrofits. I want us to reach the point where bird-safe is the norm, and want to see architects, planners, and contractors automatically incorporate bird safety into their building designs, like they would for fire regulations and other safety concerns. Overall, just raising the awareness of the impact our activities have on other species.
Favourite bird, and why?
It’s hard to pick a favourite—all birds are cool in their own way. They’re basically modern-day dinosaurs: The fact that birds survived one of the worst extinction events in Earth’s history, millions of years before the earliest primates, makes them worthy of our respect and admiration.