Home world How Chicago (and its skyscrapers) kills millions of migratory birds

How Chicago (and its skyscrapers) kills millions of migratory birds

Environment and animals

An investigation has established the ranking of the most dangerous American cities for birds, threatened by glittering and translucent skyscrapers.

Do you know how many birds die by hitting a skyscraper in the United States? 100 million a year, or even up to a billion, scientists say. A dizzying figure used by conservationists to identify the most dangerous cities for migratory birds.

With its huge glass towers and majestic buildings that flutter with the clouds, Chicago is certainly the deadliest city for the many birds that cross the sky. In the fall and spring, More than 5 million birds of at least 250 different species fly over the center of the city Windy city. And most of them leave their feathers behind …

Dangerous intersections

During their thousands of kilometers long journey from the Great Lakes North to Central and Latin America, birds sometimes land in the major cities of the country. During transport and in search of food, "They will fly to what they think is a tree, when it is the reflection of the tree in the glass of a building, then they hit the glass and eventually die"says Susan Elbin (quoted by guardian) Director of Conservation at New York Audubon, an organization for bird protection. Attracted by the light of the big cities, the birds struggle to avoid these dangerous intersections, where the reflection and transparency of some skyscrapers guarantee an almost certain death.

Read also> In Iran, the hunt for migratory birds goes to massacre

In the ranking that is meant to raise the awareness of the local authorities, it is Cornell Lab of Ornithology places second and third cities of Houston and Dallas. Followed by New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Atlanta, especially risky for the birds that pass by. For the Big Apple, the Audubon association estimates that between 90,000 and 200,000 birds are killed each year after they have crashed into a building in the city. national, the Smithsonian Migratory Birds Center (SMBC) estimates the annual number of deaths between 100 million and one billion birds.

© Unsplash / Jack Young

For a more respectful architecture

Of the solutions proposed by the defenders, turning off the lights in buildings at night during migration peaks is a first step that could make the difference, it is estimated. Several states are already participating in this initiative. Moreover, environmentalists argue that urban architecture should adopt a more respectful bird-friendly design in the future, for example by using patterned glass. San Francisco and Toronto are among the cities that have already adopted bird-friendly guidelines. And New York and Chicago are taking the lead.

Read also> Birds are coming less and less in our gardens (and this is disturbing)


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