Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Photos: Mary&Pat

Indigo Bunting (Rackspace Bldg. 31C).

Working on ID (Bldg. 7E/A)

Cedar Waxwing remains (Bldg. 7E/A).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NEW SPECIES - Killdeer

Photos: Mary&Pat
 NEW SPECIES:  Killdeer (Bldg. 7C).

Northern Flicker (Bldg. 7E).

Proposed Legislation Could Prevent Millions of Bird Deaths

“Building collisions are certainly among the greatest man-made killers of birds. Three hundred million to one billion birds or more die each year from collisions with glass on buildings—from skyscrapers to homes. While this legislation is limited to federal buildings, it’s a very good start that could lead to more widespread applications of bird-friendly designs elsewhere,” said Dr. Christine Sheppard, ABC Bird Collisions Campaign Manager.

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, “Bird–building Collisions in the United States: Estimates of Annual Mortality and Species Vulnerability” published in January 2014, the species most commonly reported as building kills (collectively representing 35 percent of all records) were White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Ovenbird, and Song Sparrow. However, the study found that some species are disproportionately vulnerable to building collisions. Several of these are birds of national conservation concern and fall victim primarily to certain building types. Those species include:
  • Golden-winged Warbler and Canada Warbler at low-rises, high-rises, and overall
  • Painted Bunting at low-rises and overall
  • Kentucky Warbler at low-rises and high-rises
  • Worm-eating Warbler at high-rises
More here:

Action Alert: Proposed Legislation Could Prevent Millions of Bird Deaths

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-09) have introduced the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act (HR 2280).  The bill is designed to prevent the deaths of millions of birds by calling for each public building constructed, acquired, or significantly altered by the General Services Administration (GSA) to incorporate, to the maximum extent possible, bird-safe building materials and design features. Many buildings constructed by GSA are already, in fact, bird-friendly. The legislation would require GSA to take similar actions on existing buildings, where practicable.

“Migratory bird season in Chicago reminds us that birds are not only beautiful animals telling us that warmer weather is on its way; but they help generate billions of dollars annually to the U.S. economy through wildlife watching activities,” said Rep. Quigley. “However, collisions with glass buildings claim hundreds of millions of bird lives each year in the U.S. The Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, a cost neutral bill, would help prevent these deaths by including bird-safe building materials and design features across federal buildings.”

Please urge your U.S. Representative to support the 2015 Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, which would help prevent the deaths of millions of birds by including bird-safe building materials and design features across federal buildings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Photos: Mary & Pat
Gray Catbird (Bldg. 12F).

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Bldg. 14B).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Species - Eastern Kingbird

Photos: Kara N.

We found 2 Eastern Kingbirds today (Bldg. 14A).  They were right next to each other, just a couple feet apart.  Their journey ended at a VTCRC window today.

Gray Catbird remains (Bldg. 1A).

Window collisions by migratory bird species: urban geographical patterns and habitat associations

Marine Cusa, Donald A. Jackson, and Michael Mesure in Urban Ecosystems (2015)


Bird collisions with buildings are an increasing concern and yet understanding the factors contributing to collisions at the species level remains largely unknown. This gap in our knowledge of species-specific strike patterns hinders the development of accurate estimates for the impact of death-by-collision on bird populations and impedes on our ability to minimize its effects. Our study offers the first examination of the impact of environmental variables on bird-window collisions at the species level. The Fatal Light Awareness Program Canada collected bird-window collision data in three distinct regions of Toronto, Canada during the migratory season of the years 2009 and 2010. Our results indicated that building percent window cover, exposed habitat cover, and cover of built structures significantly affect bird-window collisions. Multivariate analyses showed that the bird species that collided with buildings surrounded by a high level of urban greenery are species that typically occur in forested habitats and are foliage gleaners. In contrast, species that collided with buildings surrounded by a higher level of urbanization are species that typically occur in open woodland and are ground foragers. These results suggest that the composition of bird species colliding with buildings across various regions of the Greater Toronto Area is influenced by the local bird species community composition, by the configuration of the surrounding landscape, and by the levels of greenery around the buildings.