Collisions with buildings cause up to 1 billion bird fatalities annually in North America. Bird-building collisions have recently received increased conservation, research, and policy attention. However, efforts to reduce collisions would benefit from studies conducted at large spatial scales across multiple study sites, with standardized methods, and with consideration of species- and life history-related variation and correlates of collisions. We addressed these research needs with a coordinated data collection effort at 40 sites across North America. We estimated collision vulnerability for 40 bird species by accounting for their North American population abundance, distribution overlap with study sites, and sampling effort. Of 10 species we identified as most vulnerable to collisions, some have been identified in past studies (e.g., Black-throated Blue Warbler [Setophaga caerulescens]) while others emerged for the first time (e.g., White-breasted Nuthatch [Sitta carolinensis]), possibly because we used a more standardized sampling approach than past studies. Analyses of species-specific collision correlates revealed that building size and glass area were positively associated with numbers of collisions for 5 of 8 species with enough observations to analyze independently. Vegetation around buildings influenced collisions for only 1 of those 8 species (Swainson's Thrush [Catharus fuscescens]). We also found that life history predicted collisions; numbers of collisions were greatest for migratory, insectivorous, and woodland-inhabiting species. This coordinated, continent-wide study provides new insight into the species most vulnerable to building collisions, making them potentially in greatest need of conservation attention to reduce collisions. This study also lends insight into species- and life history-related variation and correlates of building collisions, information that can help refine collision management efforts.
Original Publication Citation
Elmore J.A., Hager, S.B., Cosentino, B.J., Hagemeyer, Natasha D.G., Walters, E. L. . . . Loss, S. R. (2020). Correlates of bird collisions with buildings across three North American countries. Conservation Biology https://doi.org/10.1111/
Elmore, Jared A.; Hager, Stephen B.; Cosentino, Bradley J.; Hagemeyer, Nastasha; Walters, Eric; Loss, Scott R.; and et al., "Correlates of Bird Collisions With Buildings Across Three North American Countries" (2020). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 407.