During the migration season, many birds are injured when they collide with glass skyscrapers in New York City. Those that survive may end up at the Wild Bird Fund, the city’s only wildlife rehab center. Good news! In December 2019, the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly in support of new legislation to require bird-safe building designs — the strongest of its kind in the country. So migratory birds like this Ovenbird should face fewer hazards here in the future.
Listen to the extended story on BirdNote Presents.
Birds and Glass - Ovenbird Release
Written by Mark Bramhill
This is BirdNote.
Every year, more than 7,000 birds end up at the Wild Bird Fund, New York City’s only wildlife rehab center. During the migration season, many of those birds are injured from collisions with glass skyscrapers.
It can be grim work, but not always…
[ambi fades up]
On a Saturday morning in October, I got to join volunteers in Central Park for the release of a newly recovered Ovenbird, a kind of warbler. Rita McMahon is the founder of the Wild Bird Fund.
Rita: The Ovenbird was clearly a window strike. He was truly messed up, so it took a full month for him to recover. I'm very happy he made it.
Our guide Ricki sets up his carrier in a wooded area and gets ready to open the door…
Tour guide: Think good thoughts, that this little guy will find a safe way out of here, staying away from buildings and glass.
The Ovenbird hides in the carrier for a bit, then flutters out. The group fawns over his little orange crest. And then, he disappears into the trees. Now he has to make up for an entire lost month of his migration. And there are lots more glass buildings between Central Park and Central America. It is not going to be easy. But in December 2019, the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly in support of new legislation to require bird-safe building designs — the strongest of its kind in the country. So when Ovenbirds — like this one — migrate in the future, their journeys might be a little bit easier.
You can hear an extended story about birds and glass - and find out how you can help - on our podcast, BirdNote Presents. Subscribe in your podcast app, or find it at our website, BirdNote.org.
I’m Mark Bramhill.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote March 2020 Narrator: Mark Bramhill
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