New York is a big enough city that you can be pretty sure to get a critical mass of enthusiasts in any field, as long as you gather them together around an event. When a rare Snowy Owl came to visit Central Park last winter, hoards of birders and amateur photographers swarmed the park to capture the moment. When another celebrity owl was accidentally run over by a Central Park Maintenance vehicle, it was a news event.
BirdCast is a site that aims to “inspire birders and scientists as well as support decisions about conservation actions on the ground to mitigate numerous hazards birds face and to prevent deaths of millions of birds annually.” One example of how BirdCast helps conservationists is to draw attention to the deadly interaction of migrating birds and the mirrored skyscrapers in cities.
There are design solutions that hopefully can be enacted. There is also a movement to dim the lights in buildings during periods of high migration so as not to confuse the birds as they fly through the city. Next time you look up and marvel at the skyscrapers of New York City, think of the birds.
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