High property costs are forcing most contemporary cities to grow upwards. This creates new challenges for birds: they constantly crash into high-rise buildings. The situation is particularly dangerous after dark.
Scientists from the University of Michigan determined that high-rise buildings pose a significant threat to migratory birds. Territories with dense high-rise settlements are particularly dangerous at night: artificial lighting used in these buildings prevents birds from coordinating the movements of their flocks, which results in them crashing against the structures. These situations are more common among migratory birds that use singing to communicate.
This conclusion was made based on statistics presented by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The data covers the period from 1978 until today, and proves that over 70 thousand birds have died from crashing into buildings at night during this period. And that’s just in Chicago and Cleveland!
Biologist Benjamin Winger believes that artificial lighting which is prevalent in large cities is to blame. At night, birds use singing to communicate and make decisions, and in the daytime they communicate within the flock. As a result, a bird taking a dangerous course uses singing to call the others following it, and all of them end up crashing to their deaths.
The severity of these incidents variates depending on the location of the cities: certain cities are situated along migratory routes, leading to a higher number of such occurrences. Scientists are continuing their studies. They intend to study the issue in greater detail to develop a suitable solution.
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