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Group seeks to reduce deaths and injuries of birds flying into skyscrapers

Posted at 12:40 PM, May 13, 2019

CHICAGO — From May to October, a team of people is working every day, even weekends, to look for dead birds on the ground in downtown Chicago.

Annually, about 5,000 birds that are not native to the region are injured or killed after colliding into Chicago’s glassy reflective skyscrapers. The team looking for the birds is documenting what kind are coming though the city.

The birds live in rain forests and wild areas and are not experienced with tall buildings, group members say. It’s a foreign environment for them, so they are easily hurt, says group member Annette Prince.

The group aims to decrease the number of birds killed in the city and is pushing for more bird-friendly building designs throughout the nation. One suggestion the team has is to turn lights out at night.

“We are No. 1 in the urban lighting we put out,” Prince said.

Less glass helps with the problem, too.

“It’s estimated that there are a billion birds a year killed in windows, with a huge concentrations in cities like Chicago,” she said.

This is something the U.S. can fix, Prince said.

“There are things you can do to make buildings safe, and to protect these birds that are so valuable to us,” she said.