This morning Arthur and I are walking our Rescue & Recovery route to look for fallen injured or dead birds that have struck buildings in Chicago during the night and early morning. This is our fifth week volunteering for R&R this spring. During these weeks, I’d like to highlight some of the perils birds face on their migration by sharing a website or information about migratory birds.
FLAP is the Fatal Light Awareness Program, based in Toronto. Their mission: Working to safeguard migratory birds in the urban environment through education, research, rescue and rehabilitation. FLAP volunteers perform R&R in Toronto during migration. The FLAP website provides a wealth of information on preventing bird strikes in general, as well as specific data on the bird-strike situation in Toronto. For example, there is a list of the Top 30 Most Lethal Structures for Bird Collisions in the city. Similar data on the situation in Chicago is also recorded, but I don’t believe it is made public, generally. At Birding America earlier this year we did attend a seminar about the perils of migrating through Chicago, where some of this data was shared. I would like to see it publicized; perhaps some of the worst offenders would be motivated to make bird-friendly adjustments to their buildings.
To raise awareness, FLAP released a booklet last year entitled A Field Guide to Common Birds of Toronto.
The booklet, which is available electronically and can be downloaded here, shows 10 of the more common window-strike victims of the city. They are shown as they would be when found dead on the ground, with field markings and collision information for the species.