Hundreds of songbirds have flown into glass skyscrapers during the annual bird migration in New York. The bird protection of the US city of millions posted videos and photos showing that the street and pavement in front of the towers of the One World Trade Center is dotted with dead birds.
Volunteers document the number of birds flying against buildings during the seasonal bird migration in spring and autumn. It‘s not a new phenomenon, but this year it’s more than other years.
Melissa Breyer, a bird guard volunteer Audubon and photographer, took the dead birds off the ground:
According to bird migration expert Christiaan Both, from the University of Groningen, last Monday‘s storm is probably the cause that there were so many birds at the bottom of the towers. “If migratory birds have wind, they fly lower than when they have wind. The storm caused them to reach the height of the buildings.”
The bright light also has an attractive effect on the animals. “Migratory birds navigate the light of the moon and the stars but the light that is on in the buildings make them disorientated,” says Both.
The bird protection therefore calls on the World Trade Centre to turn off the lights of the towers during bird migration, and to adjust the buildings so that birds can see it better.
The skyscraper project developer spokesman says that the design does take into account migratory birds. “For example, the first sixty meters of glass are not reflective.” Office tenants are also asked to turn off the lights during bird migration.
In the Netherlands, this type of bird mortality is much less common, says Both. “That’s because the difference between light and dark in the Netherlands is less significant.”
Some birds survived the clash with the skyscraper. 77 animals were collected and cared for by bird protection.