Nearly 600 million birds die each year in the United States after hitting tall buildings, especially in cities like Chicago, Houston or Dallas, according to research conducted by Cornell’s Ornithology Laboratory.

According to the findings of this report, birds are disoriented by lights in high-rise buildings and crash into walls. As a result, the publication explains that many migratory birds have developed the ability to migrate at night to avoid these accidents caused by artificial light. “The risks of artificial light for migratory birds are not temporary but represent a challenge for them at continental levels,” says the study, which has been developed from information captured by various satellites and radars that have monitored and identified where and when migratory birds are exposed to light pollution.

The study has classified the most dangerous cities for migratory birds, both for autumn and spring movements, when they cross the country on their way between Canada and Latin America, with Chicago, Houston and Dallas in the top three on both lists. The study’s lead author, Kyle Horton, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Environment of the American Society of Ecology, adds that “Chicago, Houston and Dallas are in a unique position at the heart of North America’s busiest air corridors. This, combined with the fact that they are some of the largest cities in the United States, makes them a serious threat to the passage of migrant birds, regardless of the season,” reads the statement published on The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Web site.


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