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NBC News reports rooftop where gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses classified documents case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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MI study aims to minimize bird mortality from window strikes

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024   

Spring brings about migration season for birds, but home and workplace windows can often prevent them from getting to their final destination.

Wayne State University has been awarded a grant by The Detroit Zoological Society to conduct research on bird mortality from window strikes.

Ava Landraf, conservation and research coordinator with Detroit Bird Alliance, said more than half of the bird window strikes happen at low-rise and residential buildings, and not on skyscrapers as most would imagine.

"Most people don't know that bird-window collisions are the second highest cause of direct human-caused mortality of birds. And this is surpassed only by outdoor and feral cats," Landraf said.

The Smithsonian Institution finds many bird window strikes happen because of less darkness at night and an increase in artificial light caused by streetlights and lighted office buildings.

The research shows 33% of the world's population cannot see the Milky Way galaxy due to light pollution, and for birds that navigate using the stars, this hazy sky is having deadly results.

Landraf said Wayne State University faculty and students have had concerns about bird strikes over the years, but the opportunity to do something about it never materialized until they got this grant. She added it's scary to find a small number of dead birds around the campus, knowing there are many window strikes.

"A lot of the birds will hit a window, have that head trauma and then, fly off and then die later," Landraf said. "Even if they hit the window and they die right there, they're either picked up and eaten by a scavenger or the building caretakers just sweep the birds right up."

Based on the Detroit Bird Alliance's findings from tracking bird strikes, CollidEscape, an adhesive film that reduces reflections outside, was applied on the first- and second-floor windows of the university's Law School building as part of the research. She suggested people contact the Bird Alliance for other potential solutions, and also suggested checking the website birdmapper.org to see which areas experience more bird-window strikes around the world.


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