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April 18, 2019

Flight Risk

Birds that produce faint chirps, called flight calls, during nighttime migration collide with illuminated buildings much more often than closely related species that don't produce such calls, according to a new analysis of a 40-year record of thousands of building collisions in the Midwest. The study cited a 75-percent reduction in fatal collisions at a particularly crash-prone structure in Chicago by changing the light regime. This finding suggests that, during migratory periods, reducing the amount of artificial light could vastly cut down the number of bird fatalities.

Credit: National Science Foundation/Karson Productions

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