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Editor's Choice: Study estimates number of birds killed by collisions with U.S. buildings


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Philip C Stouffer, Editor-in-Chief of The Condor: Ornithological Applications:

"Researchers estimate that about 600 million (and possibly up to 1 billion) birds die each year from collisions with buildings, and especially windows, in the U.S. Feral and free-ranging pet cats kill about four times as many birds, but bird–building collisions are the second-highest cause of bird death in the U.S. directly caused by humans. The report by Scott R. Loss is the first of its kind to use data from multiple studies to estimate the number of birds killed each year by collisions with U.S. buildings. Loss found that residences (detached houses 1 to 3 stories tall) in the U.S. contribute to about 253 million bird deaths per year. The deadliest buildings to birds are low-rises—buildings that are 4 to 11 stories tall—which kill about 339 million total birds per year. High-rises (buildings taller than 11 stories) only account for about 508,000 bird deaths each year. The study identifies 3 bird groups (hummingbirds, swifts, and warblers) and 6 species (of conservation concern) that are highly vulnerable to building collisions."

 

Bird–building collisions in the United States: Estimates of annual mortality and species vulnerability by Scott R. Loss, Tom Will, Sara S. Loss, and Peter P. Marra, The Condor: Ornithological Applications 116:8-23, February 2014 is an open access article published at http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/full/10.1650/CONDOR-13-090.1.

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