Migrating chimney swifts are smashing into a NASCAR Hall of Fame building in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to the animal rescue group responding to the dead and injured birds.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue counted 310 birds, which struck the glass-walled building in one night this month.
Of those, 97 were already dead, nine had to be euthanized, another 103 needed to be treated for broken wings, legs or other injuries and some 102 were stunned.
The group called for donations to staff care of the birds as well as the “enormous amount of worms” needed to feed the recovering patients.
The rescue organization said it’s important to save the chimney swifts.
“Losing one swift is a tragedy, losing hundreds is horrible,” the group posted on Facebook.
“Our aerial insectivores populations are declining. A bird that eats 12,000 mosquitos a day? That’s reason enough for me.”
Hundreds of millions of birds, perhaps up to 1-billion, die every year when they fly into skyscrapers in the United States alone.
There are two main types of window collisions, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
“In daylight, birds crash into windows because they see reflections of vegetation or see through the glass to potted plants or vegetation on the other side,” the university explains. “At night, nocturnal migrants (including most songbirds) crash because they fly into lighted windows. Some of these nighttime collisions are due to chance, but much more often the nocturnal migrants are lured to their deaths by the lights.”
They also can fly about crashing into each other.
The group provided some fascinating chimney swift facts.
“These insectivores live most of their lives ‘on the wing,’ covering up to 500 miles a day – they even eat and drink while in flight,” the group explained. “…Unfortunately, these birds’ numbers are declining significantly due to loss of nesting sites.”
Rehab staff got the call for help late on the night of Oct. 15.
They rushed to the NASCAR building to scoop up and assess the birds.
“It’s an expensive endeavour but these birds are an incredible contributor to our eco system and eat hundreds of mosquitos a day,” the group explained.
The next morning, it found all the birds it rescued survived the night.
One by one the birds were released.
But you can also help protect birds.
People can place decals, bird tape, netting, screens, tempera paint or soap on their windows to deter and protect birds.