Having a bird feeder seems to increase risk of birds dying by flying into your window

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Having a bird feeder seems to increase risk of birds dying by flying into your window

Feeders lead birds to 22M fatal window collisions a year in Canada: survey

University of Alberta biology students did a survey of 1,458 urban and rural homeowners in the Edmonton area, and found 39 per cent of their homes had been hit by birds over one year. More than a third of the birds died.

That’s equivalent to about 180,000 birds killed each year in Edmonton, the students calculated. They worked out that if all homes in Canada had birds flying into them at the same rate, it would kill 22 million birds each year.

That’s a rough number, as the students haven’t compared how environments across the country could differ from Edmonton’s.

Still, the students noticed a surprising trend: A major factor in window collisions was the presence of a bird feeder.

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Birds swoop in to the feeder

Birds swoop in to the feeder at high speeds and sometimes veer off — for instance, to avoid another bird — and hit a window.

The birds most likely to die: Species that swoop in fast such as chickadees and sparrows.

The worst position for the feeder was three to four metres from a window, which many people choose because they can see the birds well at that distance.

If the feeder is farther away, there’s space for birds to avoid the window. If it is very close to the window, birds leaving the feeder don’t have room to pick up speed and collisions aren’t as dangerous, the students found.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Feeders+lead+birds+fatal+window+collisions+year+Canada+survey/7333261/story.html

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