Yellow-rumped Warbler

How to Help Migrating Birds

Did you know that more birds migrate over the Chicago region than anywhere else in the country? Sadly, as millions of birds were migrating through last week, many didn’t make it. Birds migrate at night and in one night more than a thousand birds died from window strikes at the McCormick Place. That building, with its huge lighted windows at night has been notoriously dangerous for migrating birds as has been the entire city of Chicago. With incidents like this occurring, it is no surprise that we have lost almost 3 billion birds in recent decades. The main causes of these devastating losses are habitat loss, pesticides, and artificial light pollution.

Fortunately, there are many easy things we can do to help the plight of birds. Please sign this Audubon petition to urge McCormick Place to take this problem seriously and turn lights out or draw shades at night during migration.

While McCormick Place is one of the worst offenders, birds strike windows all over and often. To learn how you can prevent birds from striking the windows of your home or business, see this consumer guide. The American Bird Conservancy recommends window decals to be spaced 2″ x 2″ apart to prevent strikes on your windows. There are many aesthetically pleasing and easy to install solutions available for homeowners, all outlined in this guide. 

Learn how to reduce harmful artificial light pollution around your home or business at Dark Sky Chicago.

Thank you to the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors. Every morning during bird migration, their volunteers pick up injured birds all across downtown Chicago and rehabilitate the ones that can be saved.

Let’s all do our part to help our migrating birds. Their continued decline is not sustainable. They provide ecosystem services that are absolutely essential.

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