Songbirds Soar after Concussion Recovery
A Common Yellowthroat warbler and a Song Sparrow were released following treatment for concussions, including anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and nutritional support.
These birds were found by Erie Bird Observatory volunteers during their morning BirdSafe Erie patrols. This program searches several routes in downtown Erie, PA for birds injured by building strikes during their seasonal migration. Injured birds are transported to Tamarack for care.
During fall migration millions of birds cross the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie. Despite the large number of birds migrating, it often goes unnoticed since most birds choose to migrate at night.
But why fly at night? Temperatures at night are cooler and more stable which keeps birds from overheating, predators are less likely to be active, and many migratory birds use the stars and moon to help them navigate.
The stars and moon aren’t the only lights in a modern nighttime sky, though, and lights from human structures can interfere with the bird’s ability to navigate, disorient them, and lead to collisions with buildings.
BirdSafe Erie is studying how many birds are affected by lights and buildings in Erie to help determine how to reduce injury and mortality for migrating birds. One way everyone can help is by reducing or eliminating outdoor lighting on your property at night during the fall and spring migrations.