Mass mortality events in Manhattan on 13-14 September 2021

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Sep 16, 2021

An image of a small number of the birds killed in collisions in New York City on the night of 13-14 September 2021. Photograph taken from a Tweet from Melissa Breyer (click on this image to visit this tweet).

The BirdCast team is saddened and deeply disturbed by the mass bird collision events that occurred on Monday night and Tuesday morning in Manhattan. Intense urban light pollution (and an abundance of tall buildings) together with poor flying conditions (this map shows the frontal boundary associated with the strong storms and poor visibility conditions) on a night of intense and low altitude migration contributed to these events. With our partners in New York, Texas, Washington D.C, and all around the US, we recommend immediate actions – turning off all non-essential lights, especially during migration periods, to reduce birds’ attraction to and disorientation by them – as well as broader actions – making buildings (and homes! Collisions are NOT simply an urban and building problem!) bird friendly – to prevent these awful occurrences.

As a reminder: