Today's post is a break from the usual run of bad news about current events, and a detour into an unusual run of bad news... in an annual count of avian migration casualties by the Audobon Society's Project Safe Flight in New York City, a mass death event of birds was reported, and covered by Gizmodo. The end-of-summer migration season is in full swing, and New York City, with its glass towers and nocturnal lights, poses a terrible risk for birds on the move. There are ideas to make migration less fraught, such as turning off lights at night and making windows more visible with etching or decals.
In April of this year, my great and good friends of the Secret Science Club hosted a lecture on bird migration by author Scott Weidensaul. This lecture, and my regular reading on ecological matters, should have warned me of what to expect, but it didn't quite prepare me for the photograph of dead birds accompanying the Gizmodo article.
On the job, I am fortunate enough to be exposed to the natural world and its processes. The sites at which I work are on the route of the Atlantic Flyway. and I have been enchanted by the birds I have been able to observe, primarily osprey, and a couple of weeks ago, a pair of bald eagles which I hope establish a nest onsite. Tropical storm Ida forced us to shut down this site until repairs can be made to the local access road by the municipality, and to a gravel driveway by the organization. One of my coworkers, a acting manager of this site, is an even more avid birder than I am, and I'm sure she'd be upset to read this article, though she knows the perils faced by our avian darlings. Again, seeing the pictures packs an emotional punch that dispassionate knowledge lacks.