As fall bird migration nears its end, scientists in Chicago are seeing what they say is an encouraging trend. Fewer migrating birds are hitting the windows of tall high-rises. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jesse Hardman has more:
As fall bird migration nears its end…scientists in Chicago are seeing what they say is an encouraging trend. Fewer migrating birds are hitting the windows of tall high-rises. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jesse Hardman has more.
Scientists at Chicago’s field museum say an estimated one hundred million birds die every year after hitting windows. They say many of those deaths come during annual migrations. Bird expert Dave Willard says he’s been patrolling Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center for twenty years…collecting winged casualties of fall migration.
Willard says those numbers are starting to go down.
“In 1996 we might have picked up anywhere between five hundred and one thousand birds in the fall, this fall it will be probably under fifty.”
Willard and his colleagues suggest bright light confuses night migrators who use the stars and moon to navigate. He says this year’s drop in death is a direct result of a city initiative asking buildings to pull window shades and dim lights at night. Willard says other Great Lakes cities like Toronto are trying similar programs.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium I’m Jesse Hardman.