Saturday, June 28, 2008

What Kills Birds?

Human Causes of Bird Fatalities Bird Deaths a year
Glass Windows
Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: glass kills more birds than any other human related factor.
100 to 900+ million
House Cats
The National Audubuon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey to cats. Dr. Stan Temple of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are killed by cats
100 million
Automobiles / Trucks
Scientists estimate the number of birds killed by cars and trucks on the nation's highways to be 50 to 100 million a year. Those statistics were cited in reports published by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
50 to 100 million
Electric Transmission Line Collisions
Estimates made by the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service demonstrate millions of birds die each year as a result of colliding with transmission lines.
up to 174 million
Pesticides likely poison an estimated 67 million birds per year according to the Smithsonian Institution. Cutting hay may kill up to a million more birds a year.
67 million
Land Development
Suburban sprawl is a silent but deadly killer. The National Audubon Society says loss of bird habitat is the greatest threat to bird populations.
Communication Towers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that bird collisions with tall, lighted communications towers, and their guy wires result in 4 to 10 million bird deaths a year.
4 to 10 million
Stock Tank Drowning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and other conservationists believe that large numbers of birds inadvertently drown in livestock water tanks.
Oil and Gas Extraction
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that up to 2 million birds died landing in oil pits to bathe and drink in 1997. Fish and Wildlife says netting has improved that situation somewhat. There are no overall estimates for the number of birds affected by oil and gas spills, and oil and gas extractions (and transport.)
1 to 2 million
Logging and Strip Mining
Logging and strip mining destroy bird habitat. According to the National Audubon Society, habitat destruction is the leading cause of bird population declines.
Commercial Fishing
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ornithological Council report that 40 thousand seabirds per year are killed in the Gulf of Alaska by longline fishing operations. These same sources say long lining and gill netting kill large numbers of birds in other parts of the country as well.
Electrocution (Raptors)
Experts estimate that more than one thousand hawks, eagles, falcons and owls are electrocuted on transmission lines and poles each year.
more than 1,000
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, more than 100 million ducks, geese, swans, doves, shorebirds, rails, cranes, among others are harvested legally each year.
100 + million


Carver said...

That's a good chart to put up. I have a friend whose house is full of large windows that she had to put decals on to protect the birds.

Thanks for your follow-up on the comment on my blog. I responded on my blog but basically I looked it up and you're correct about the type of finch I photographed. I was surprised because I have a lot of American goldfinch and several other varieties I'm familiar with but that wasn't one I knew about but it does match the picture I found online and is native to my area. So I appreciate you telling me what it was. I feel silly for thinking it was a baby cardinal. I have a ton of cardinals so nice to know the babies are about the same size as the parents.

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