Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.


You are here

Chicago Volunteers Rescue Birds

Hope for injured birds in downtown Chicago

In many urban areas, collisions are the fate of hundreds of thousands of birds, like this Brown Creeper. But Annette Prince and volunteers with Chicago Bird Collision Monitors are making a difference. Every morning during spring and fall migration, Annette and her team rescue birds that have collided with skyscrapers – and transport the survivors to Willowbrook Wildlife Center for rehabilitation.

There's a lot more to this story. Check out Related Resources, below.

Full Transcript



Chicago Volunteers Rescue Birds that Have Collided with Glass

Interviews by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Phone rings. Annette Prince says, “ Chicago Bird Collision Monitors.”]

That’s Annette Prince, director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors. Since dawn, she and others – all volunteers – have been downtown, rescuing birds that have collided with skyscrapers. In many urban areas, collisions are the fate of hundreds of thousands of birds. Her team’s out in Chicago every morning during spring and fall migration. Now they’re bringing in birds, in brown paper bags, to Annette. She’ll transport the survivors to Willowbrook Rehabilitation Center.

(John Kelly) “Looks like I got a Hermit Thrush, a Dark-eyed Junco… plus a Nashville Warbler and another Hermit Thrush.”

(Robert Prosise) “I was over here getting the sparrow and I heard the clunk on the glass and I think it was a hawk…He might have been chasing this thrush … So I got five live and three dead.  I got two thrushes, and a sparrow, I’m not sure, it’s probably an immature white-throated or somethin’, a kinglet, and brown creeper.”

Here’s Annette again:

“It’s heart-breaking to see them hurt or killed. I think the work we do is trying to raise awareness – to save the individual birds that we find – but certainly look at the larger picture of finding a way to make these birds’ journeys safer and give these birds a better fate.”

Find more at our website,

Recorded on location by C. Peterson.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to          October 2018        Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#   collision-02-2013-04-16    collision-02c     Marantz IV Tracks 35, 43, 48, 55, 82 / / Chicago Bird Collision Monitors / Ornilux Bird Protection Glass

Related field notes: