|Ijams wildlife biologist Pam Petko-Seus comforts a young yellow-bellied sapsucker that had just flown into a window in the Visitor Center. Luckily, it was able to pull itself together and fly away.|
What is the number one killer of birds in this country? Is it hunters? Or perhaps cats?
Well, actually it’s neither.
It’s estimated that hunters kill roughly 15 million waterfowl a year. Hunting season is carefully managed and it is only legal to kill game birds in season.
Cars may kill 60 million birds annually.
Collisions with high-tension lines may kill up to 174 million birds per year. And it’s estimated that domestic and feral cats may kill as many as 500 million birds per year.
BUT, the number one killer of birds is the seemingly benign panes of glass we all have in our homes and office buildings. Yes, glass. It’s estimated that window strikes perhaps kill as many as 976 million birds a year. That’s almost one billion!
A bird doesn’t see the glass but rather the reflection of the sky. It flies into an illusion (I think many of us are guilty of that) but for a bird, it often breaks its neck.
What can you do? Place decals, tape strips of ribbon, dark paper hawk silhouettes or some other object on the surface to let a bird know that there is something more there than meets the eye.
The above sapsucker flew into one of the windows that we do not have a decal on. Pam was able to pick up and hold the bleary-eyed thing, keeping it warm, thus avoiding shock. In time, it recovered and flew away.
|A silhoulette of a raptor taped on a window is often all that is needed to prevent birds from flying into the glass.|