Bird collisions in Manhattan (New York City) were studied by analyzing collision data collected from 1997 to 2008 by Project Safe Flight (PSF) participants, representing one of the largest collision monitoring efforts in the nation. Over 5400 bird collisions were recorded during this period, two-thirds of which were fatal. Collisions involved 104 bird species, primarily from the warbler, sparrow, and thrush families, and mostly during spring and fall migration. Most collisions were documented to occur during the day at the lower levels of buildings where large glass exteriors reflected abundant vegetation, or where transparent windows exposed indoor vegetation. Most collisions in Manhattan likely occurred at a smaller number of high-collision sites where strike rates of well over 100 birds per year are considerably higher than previously reported rates. We suggest here that improving our understanding of the factors involved in collisions at such sites could greatly assist in reducing bird collisions.
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