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May 14, 2017

Nearly400 birds die hitting skyscraper in storm

Nearly 400 migratory birds were killed in a single night after flying into a skyscraper in Galveston, Texas, during a storm on Friday, May 5th, according to officials.   The American National Building (see photo below) is the tallest building in Galveston.   More than 20 species were among the 395 bird that were killed, including 90 Nashville Warblers, 60 Blackburnian
Warblers, 42 Chestnut-sided Warblers and 41 Ovenbirds.   Other species included 29 Yellow Warblers, 26 Black and-white Warblers, 24 Magnolia Warblers, 21 American Redstarts,15 Indigo Buntings, 8 Black-throated Green Warblers, 5 Kentucky Warblers, 4 Eastern Wood Peewees, 3 Golden-winged Warblers, 2 Painted Buntings, 2 Orchard Orioles, plus a Hooded Warbler, Gray Catbird, Blue Grosbeak, Orange-crowned Warbler, Summer Tanager, Worm-eating Warbler,
Red-eyed Vireo and Cerulean Warbler.   Three surviving birds were taken to a wildlife centre.
The birds

were coming from Central and South America, over the Gulf Mexico, before arriving fatigued in the coastal City of Galveston.   A storm was battering the city, which probably made the birds fly low, where they became disoriented by lighting and crashed into the 25-storey-high building.   The Audubon Society says when birds encounter glass, they see the image it reflects, rather than a hard surface, so when a building's lights are left on at night, birds might think of it as someplace dry to rest, especially if they spy office plants inside.   That can cause them to crash into windows - often to a fatal end.   Several Audubon groups have convinced local governments to encourage building owners and managers to turn off overnight fixtures during spring and fall migrations.
Please comment if you wish.


robert campbell said...

Sad situation , and to think this happens every migration with the thousands of sky scrapers all over the world. A few days ago a Ruby-crowned Kinglet hit our window - luckily a couple of hours in the ER (shoe box) and he was good to go. I'm always amazed by the fact that these little guys make their way from as far away as Guatemala to the B.C. central interior just to set up camp and raise a family .

Barry Wallace said...

I share your amazement, Robert. Regards, Barry