Fall Bird Migration
It’s tough being a bird these days; Loss of habitat, cat predation, window and car strikes and other challenges have resulted in a 30% loss of the bird population in North America over the past 50 years. Spring and fall migrations are particularly perilous times. Here are some simple actions that you can take to improve their chances of making it to their destinations safely:
-Keep cats inside – always! A 2015 study stated cats kill an estimated 2.6 BILLION birds a year. Cats are the leading cause of bird fatalities.
-Turn lights off at night, particularly outside lights. Many birds, especially songbirds, fly at night and get disoriented by lights. Reducing light pollution can benefit other wildlife too.
-Limit your use of pesticides. Birds need insects for food.
-Hang ribbons, tape (masking or painters tape), glass decals, soap or tempera paint (no less than 4 inches apart) or a commercial one way transparent film, on the outside of your windows to deter window strikes. It is estimated that 624 million birds are killed annually by window collisions in the US and Canada.
-Locate bird feeders either <3 feet or >30 feet from windows. Feeders are safest when placed close to or even mounted on windows because if a bird takes off from a feeder and hits a window, it is travelling at a slower speed so has a better chance of surviving a window strike. (Also note that feeders should be cleaned with a 10% beach solution twice a year.)