The recent appearance of hundreds of birds killed from striking the World Trade Center in New York City has raised new concerns about the effects of artificial lights at night. One volunteer collected 226 dead birds off the ground near the World Trade Center last week while other bodies were inaccessible. Another 30 were taken to wildlife rehabilitation centers for treatment. Bird conservationists urge the city to turn off or dim lights during critical migration periods when bird strikes peak. An estimated 90,000 to 230,000 birds are killed when striking the glass sides of buildings of the city every year—or 599 million every year across the United States. Some birds are more vulnerable than others when it comes to bird strikes, but windows can be treated with things like glass patterns, and lights can be dimmed at night to reduce these fatalities. New York City’s council has taken steps to ensure buildings make bird-friendly features on new developments, but challenges remain. For more on the effects of artificial light on wildlife, check out the cover story in the September/October issue of The Wildlife Professional.
Tens of thousands of birds are killed every year when they strike buildings in New York City. Credit: Via Pixabay