Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Links : Birds & Windows

From, Author : John Nielsen

"No one knows what birds see when they look out at the world, says ornithologist Daniel Klem, but he's sure they don't see glass. He estimates that at least 1 billion birds are killed by flying into windows every year in the United States.

"It's a very common phenomenon," said Klem. "Birds are deceived. They just don't see glass as a barrier and this is a problem for them."

Klem, a professor at Mulhenberg college in Allentown, Pa., first learned about the "window hit" problem 30 years ago from a teacher.

Klem responded by marching into a forest and hanging a bunch of windows from the branches of the trees. Then he sat down and watched what he calls an "appalling" number of collisions. Some birds lived. Many did not.

"I've learned very early on that a really short flight from an 8-foot perch can result in death," he said.

Later, Klem watched more than 100 birds hit the windows of a "typical" suburban home in the course of a single year. Then he studied shiny glass office towers, which can kill tens of thousands of birds in a year. It all adds up a yearly death toll of at least 1 billion, he argues, or roughly five percent of all the birds found in the United States each fall. Hardly anybody appreciates the size of the problem, he says."

More information and the full story at : NPR


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