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30 September 2021 Window Collisions by Birds in Brazil: Epidemiologic Factors and Radiographic and Necropsy Assessments
Gabrielle Adad Fornazari, André Saldanha, Rogerio Ribas Lange, Tilde Froes, Daniel Klem Jr, Bret A. Moore, Fabiano Montiani-Ferreira
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Abstract

Birds are among the most visually proficient group of animals on the planet; however, their inability to visualize and discriminate translucent glass structures results in an extreme number of deaths worldwide from high-speed collisions. Despite reports of avian glass collisions in North America, only a few studies have been developed to understand this problem in South America, and none evaluated radiographic and postmortem findings. One hundred cadavers were examined radiographically and postmortem, and data from 186 collision reports were analyzed for seasonality (website and manual reports and cadavers). A total of 34 different species of birds within 22 families were evaluated for this study, with the rufous-bellied thrush (Turdus rufiventris; n = 12), eared dove (Zenaida auriculata; n = 12), and ruddy ground dove (Columbina talpacoti; n = 10) being the most common species. Only 6 (27.7%) migratory species were reported: Sick's swift (Chaetura meridionalis), small-billed elaenia (Elaenia parvirostris), Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca), Great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), Double-collared seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens), and Creamy-bellied thrush (Turdus amaurochalinus). Males (51) were more frequently reported than females (5), and 50.1% of the males had active gonads. Sex was unable to be determined in 44 birds. The most common radiographic lesion, noted in 16 of 82 (19.5%) animals, was loss of coelomic definition, suggestive of hemorrhage. Prevalent postmortem findings included skull hemorrhages (58/75, 77.3%) and encephalic contusions (47/73, 64.4%), followed by coelomic hemorrhages (33/81, 40.7%). Most of the window collisions (61/186, 32.8%) occurred during spring, the most common breeding season of avian species in Brazil. Cranioencephalic trauma was identified as the primary cause of mortality associated with birds flying into glass windows. Migration does not appear to be the main predisposing factor for window collisions by birds in Brazil. Increased activity and aggression related to breeding season, especially in males, may be a more important predisposing factor for window collision accidents.

© 2021 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Gabrielle Adad Fornazari, André Saldanha, Rogerio Ribas Lange, Tilde Froes, Daniel Klem Jr, Bret A. Moore, and Fabiano Montiani-Ferreira "Window Collisions by Birds in Brazil: Epidemiologic Factors and Radiographic and Necropsy Assessments," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 35(3), 313-324, (30 September 2021). https://doi.org/10.1647/20-00009
Published: 30 September 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Avian
cranioencephalic trauma
glass
ornithology
reproductive season
South America
window collision
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