Millions of dead birds fuel search for avian-friendly windows

(Ben Salter / Flickr

(Ben Salter / Flickr)

Currently, between 365 million and 988 million birds die in the US each year because of collisions with buildings and houses, according to a report released in January. As a result, a number of American cities and states — such as San Francisco and Minnesota — have adopted building standards that promote bird safety, such as special lighting conditions. Unfortunately, many architects are reluctant to make changes if it means obstructing a client’s view by using things like semi-transparent window decals. So, as The New York Times reports, an increasing number of glass companies and research labs have started to think about ways to stop these deadly collisions, without hindering our view. Continue reading

Pesticide blamed for deaths of hundreds of wild birds

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A volunteer plucks out a dead little corella from waters near Dubbo. Photo: Louise Donges, Daily Liberal

A chemical used to control insects and non-native pest birds is likely to blame for the deaths of hundreds of wild birds near Dubbo in the state’s central west, the NSW Environment Protection Authority said.

As many as 700 birds, mostly little correlas, galahs and sulphur-crested cockatoos, have been found dead over the past fortnight in a two-kilometre radius of Troy Reserve on the Talbragar River, said Ann Mara, chairwoman of the WIRES wildlife rescue group. Continue reading

RSPB fears thousands of rare birds died in winter storms ’caused by climate change’

Puffin: Suffering as their main food source, the sand eel, moves away in search of cooler water

Puffin: Suffering as their main food source, the sand eel, moves away in search of cooler water

Thousands of rare seabirds died in the extreme winter weather, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who fear the storms were caused by climate change.

The charity’s experts blame the “deaths on a scale unprecedented in living memory” on a combination of sea warming and winter storms. Continue reading

Illegal bird deaths continue to rise in UK, RSPB report shows

An Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo), strung up on a farm fence in Scotland. Photograph: T/Alamy

An Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo), strung up on a farm fence in Scotland. Photograph: T/Alamy

Cases of the illegal persecution of British birds are continuing to rise, according to the latest figures from the RSPB.

The Birdcrime report, published on Friday, shows there were 208 reports of the shooting and destruction of birds of prey in 2012, including confirmed shootings of 15 buzzards, five sparrowhawks and four peregrine falcons.

In the same year there were more than 70 reported poisoning incidents including nine buzzards and seven red kites, the report found. But the numbers of poisoning incidents has fallen in recent years, with 101 reports in 2011, 128 in 2010 and 153 in 2009.
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Common bird-killing disease documented in Alaska for 1st time

Avian cholera has been found for the first time in Alaska. Die-off on St. Paul Island. This is one of the first 3 dead birds sent to a biologist in Nome, who sent them to a USGS lab in Wisconsin that made the avian cholera diagnosis.

Avian cholera has been found for the first time in Alaska. Die-off on St. Paul Island. This is one of the first 3 dead birds sent to a biologist in Nome, who sent them to a USGS lab in Wisconsin that made the avian cholera diagnosis.

Hundreds of dead sea birds found on the beaches of St. Lawrence Island were the victims of  Alaska’s first detected avian cholera outbreak, officials said this week.

One hunter in Gambell spotted a bird on the beach, its head flopping backward, said Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The bird acted like it was having a seizure. Continue reading

Dead birds ‘not just a freak event’

Increasing frequency: Hundreds of Tasmanian muttonbirds, also known as short-tailed shearwaters, have been found in dead on Port Phillip bay beaches. Photo: Jason South

Increasing frequency: Hundreds of Tasmanian muttonbirds, also known as short-tailed shearwaters, have been found in dead on Port Phillip bay beaches. Photo: Jason South

Muttonbirds are dying in their thousands nearly every year and much more frequently than ever before, washing up on the coast from Coffs Harbour to Tasmania.

On South Melbourne and Port Melbourne beaches on Wednesday beach cleaning contractor David Martinez picked up more than 150 short-tailed shearwater birds, a species of muttonbird. One day last week, he picked up a similar number.

At Lord Howe Island this month, 200 shearwater birds washed up for the first time in many years, Monash University seabird biologist Jennifer Lavers said. These deaths en masse, known as “wrecks”, have been reported along the coast from Coffs Harbour to Tasmania, she said. Continue reading