Research

How does artificial lighting for buildings kill migratory birds?

Modern cities are literally crowdedhigh-rise buildings, so the birds are extremely unsafe to fly in such a territory - they can easily break on any structure. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that birds particularly risk their lives at night, especially if they coordinate the movement of the flock with the help of singing. The reason for everything is considered artificial lighting of cities - it confuses the birds, and they doom each other to certain death.

The researchers came to this conclusion after studyingbird collision statistics collected by employees of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago since 1978. In addition to this knowledge base, researchers had access to more relevant information collected by volunteers. So, only in Cleveland and Chicago for all this time about 70 000 birds were killed due to a night collision with buildings.

According to the biologist Benjamin Winger, mortalitydirectly related to the way people light up cities. Night flights probably somehow facilitate collective decision making for birds, but city lights confuse them. Individuals flying at high speed can call their relatives behind them with their singing, which causes several to happen instead of one death. It is noteworthy that previous studies have shown that inside lighted cities birds “communicate” more often than in open areas.

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Because of all this, urban lighting canconsidered another human factor to which attention should be paid. Cleveland and Chicago are of particular interest to researchers because they are located along the route of migratory birds from north to south. In order to identify more accurate causes of the disorientation of birds, scientists intend to continue the study - perhaps new discoveries will help them solve the problem.

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