Migratory Birds and Light Pollution

May 14 is World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). The overall mission of this globally recognized event is to raise awareness of migratory birds and protect them by recognizing issues related to their conservation. Over the years, WMBD has focused on issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, the illegal killing of birds, and barriers to migration. The theme for 2022 is focused on light pollution.

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Bird vs. Window: Windows 900-Some Million; Birds 0

Cedar Waxwing at rest.
Cedar Waxwing at rest.

In the battle of bird vs. window, the birds are getting “skunked”.

Perhaps something like this has happened to you? You are in your east-facing kitchen making coffee early on a nice spring morning. The sun is just coming up, birds are at the feeder, just off the patio, 12-15 feet from your kitchen window, enjoying their equivalent of breakfast.

There’s a sudden flurry of activity outside, you see a streak as something flies past, followed by several “thuds” on the window. A Cooper’s hawk, also ready for breakfast, spotted easy prey at the bird feeder and zoomed in for a meal. While the hawk was unsuccessful– didn’t catch a single bird—the bad news is that in fleeing, the birds at the feeder mistook the reflection of your window for open space, and flew directly into the glass.

You rush outdoors to find three birds lying on your patio, stunned but alive. You gently move them off the patio into the grass where you hope they’ll be able to shake it off and return to feeding. And when you get home after a day at the office, the birds are gone. But there is a neighborhood cat that’s always lurking, plus raccoons and a dog in the unfenced yard next door. You don’t know if the birds made it or not. Continue reading “Bird vs. Window: Windows 900-Some Million; Birds 0”