Volunteers with Atlanta Audubon Society’s Project Safe Flight Atlanta have been patrolling the streets during bird migration this spring looking for birds that have been killed or injured after colliding with buildings. During the spring 2017 monitoring season, volunteers collected 138 birds, representing 46 different species bringing to total birds collected since the program began in fall 2015 to 627 birds of 83 different species. Cedar Waxwing was the most common bird species collected during spring monitoring.
Eighteen Atlanta Audubon Society volunteers invested more than 160 hours this spring patrolling routes in Buckhead, Georgia Tech, downtown, and a short route in Midtown. In addition, volunteers monitored six individual buildings at other metro locations that have had high reports of bird collisions. The program also receives assistance from building cleaning crews, security personnel, homeowners, and others who report bird-collisions.
Millions of migrating birds take to the skies each year, most travel at night. Nighttime lighting can confuse or disorient traveling and resident birds causing them to crash into buildings. Scientists estimate that 350 million to 1 billion birds are killed in the U.S. each year by colliding with buildings.
In an effort to help reduce bird deaths caused by building collisions, Atlanta Audubon Society partnered with the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge to launch Lights Out Atlanta in spring 2017 to make Atlanta a more bird-friendly community. Modeled after other successful programs in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Toronto, Lights Out Atlanta asks commercial properties and homeowners to pledge to reduce unnecessary lighting during spring and fall migration. In addition to helping birds, this can also help buildings save money and meet sustainability goals. To date, ten commercial property owners and managers have made the pledge along with 63 homeowners.
Homeowners can also help by making sure their homes are safe for birds. More than 40% of all window collisions take place at private residences. More information on how to make your home bird-safe and reporting form for people who find dead birds is available on the Atlanta Audubon website at: www.atlantaaudubon.org/project-safe-flight. To learn more or sign the Lights Out Atlanta pledge, visit www.atlantaaudubon.org/lights-out-atlanta.
Atlanta Audubon Society is committed to building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and advocacy.