Cities and Migrating Birds

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Did you know that the City of Toronto has a Fatal Light Awareness Program (called FLAP) that draws awareness to the dangers that birds face while migrating each year? They have a Lights Out promotion for large cities in the Great Lakes area, they provide information on bird safe building design (and retrofitting) and during migrating periods volunteers circulate the early morning downtown streets to rescue any birds that may have flown into a building during their night migration. More awareness of the plight of migrating birds is needed in all North American cities – here is a link to view the four major migration routes covering the entire continent.

Besides considering a Lights Out program in your city and making windows more visible to birds another consideration should be to protect “Migration Rest Stops”. There have been a couple of studies that show that even small areas (less that a hectare) and corridors can be essential for tired and hungry birds. Tall trees, native shrubbery and access to water can be key for these birds seeking nourishment and a safe place to rest between flights. These can also be great places for birders to enjoy seeing some non-local fauna as these feathered friends travel to foreign locales!

Image from EcoBirder website.

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Cities and Migrating Birds

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