Scientists believe the number of bird deaths associated with skyscrapers has reached hundreds of millions. Researchers estimate that anywhere between 100 million and one billion birds die from smashing into glass buildings every year — and they now know which areas of the country are the worst for these incidents.

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More birds die from hitting buildings in Chicago than any other city in America. Scientists believe around five million birds migrate through Chicago in the fall and spring as they make their way from Central and South America to Canada. According to The Guardian, Manhattan is another deadly place for birds who are migrating north and south.

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The majority of birds travel across the U.S. at night because the weather is cooler. These birds are often attracted to the bright lights of the cities. Large glass structures, like skyscrapers, are particularly dangerous, because they reflect the surrounding landscape, tricking the birds into thinking they are flying into trees or open air.

The new bird conservation study was published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Other cities listed in the study, which was entirely based in the U.S., include Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis.

“We’re trying to raise awareness — trying to provide data and insight that could help,” Kyle Horton, an author of the study, shared.

One of the ongoing issues with studying bird deaths is obtaining reliable numbers. The New York City Audubon, for example, employs volunteers to collect birds that are killed in the fall and spring of each year. The organization recently reported that between 90,000 and 200,000 birds die from building collisions yearly. Other cities have initiated similar plans, but large scale implementation is difficult.

Although the high number of bird deaths is concerning, bird conservationists believe that researchers and designers can come up with solutions to help curb those deaths in the near future — it all starts with recognizing the problem.

Via The Guardian

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