skyscrapers are a necessary evil that can accommodate hundreds of families and businesses in one building. However, they pose serious threats to migratory birds who collide with the glass-covered or illuminated tall buildings which are either severely injured or fall to their death. The loss in terms of numbers is anybody’s guess but scientists estimate it to be in billions especially in the United States. Conservationists have identified Chicago as one of the cities that has experienced these unfortunate incidents.

The Guardian reports that migratory birds use the Chicago airspace twice every year.

Their numbers are more than five million birds from a wide variety of species. They migrate north in the spring from different locations in Central and South America. Their route takes them across the Great Lakes to Canada and these feathered friends return in the fall. The presence of skyscrapers in their path poses grave risks. It is felt necessary to raise awareness about this issue so those who build these structures can think about modifying designs to ensure the safety of birds in flight.

Introduce safety features in skyscrapers

Ornithologists are a worried lot.

No bird-lover would want to see dead birds on the sidewalk and this is happening. Birds usually migrate through the United States airspace at night because it's comparatively cool and calm but they have to fly through brightly lit cities that spoil their sense of direction. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has studied this aspect and came out with a document that ranks cities based on the danger they pose to migratory birds.

In their opinion, cities with a combination of glass structures and bright lights at night are potential death traps. Chicago gets the label of a deadly city along with Houston and Dallas because these lie along the most popular migration paths.

The Guardian adds that builders should go in for more “bird-friendly” designs.

These could be by using patterned glass and dimmer lighting. Some cities have already adopted bird-friendly guidelines, while others have introduced legislation to adopt similar measures. The problem is known and the welfare of migratory birds should be given due importance.

Turn off lights at night during migration season

According to NPR, the latest report on incidents of migratory birds colliding with skyscrapers reveals most fatal bird strikes are happening in Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. Other cities in the list are New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. This is because most birds follow this corridor when they migrate through spring and fall. In order to reduce such cases, the National Audubon Society runs a "Lights Out" campaign. This is to impress upon people to switch off their lights from 11 PM to dawn during migration periods.