Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bird Strikes against D.C. Buildings

City Wildlife tracked the deaths of migratory birds around buildings in Washington, D.C., last year during spring and fall migration.The group collected 123 birds, 36 of which appeared at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building near Union Station. The building proves particularly deadly to birds because it fronts an open plaza with a glass facade. When the lights are left on all night, migrating birds seeking shelter at the end of a long flight see the trees inside the atrium; instead of landing in the trees, they crash into a glass wall. In other cases, birds may simply be disoriented by the bright lights.

Here is a list of the most dangerous buildings, with the numbers of dead birds in parenthesis.

  1. Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building (36) 
  2. TechWorld, 800 K Street NW (21) 
  3. Senate Hart Office Building (11) 
  4. U.S. Court of Appeals, 430 E St. NW (10) 
  5. 300 New Jersey Avenue NW (8) 
  6. 1099 New York Avenue NW (7) 
  7. Washington Convention Center (7) 
  8. 425 I Street NW (6) 
  9. 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW (3) 
  10. Second and G Streets NE (3)
The organization proposes a voluntary "lights out" campaign similar to those implemented in other cities, like Toronto, Chicago, and New York City. If you want to get involved, you can more information at