Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dozens of birds slam dead into downtown Minnesota city buildings

Dozens of birds slam dead into downtown Minnesota city buildings, Dozens of birds have been found dead after slamming into downtown buildings in one Minnesota city.

The Duluth Tribune News reported Wednesday (April 24) that at least 30 Bohemian waxwing birds were killed and three others were injured after flying into buildings in Duluth on Monday and Tuesday.

A majority of the Bohemian waxwings were found dead in the plaza area adjacent to the Minnesota Power building in downtown Duluth, said Amy Rutledge, manager of corporate communications for Minnesota Power.

The birds apparently flew into tinted glass partitions adjacent to the building as they were flying up to trees.

“We’re on a major migration route,” said Peggy Farr, a Wildwoods rehabilitator and board member. “This is a good time of year to close the blinds so the birds don’t get faked out by the windows.”

Rutledge said Minnesota Power plans to put stickers on the glass panels that the waxwings hit so birds will be more likely to see the panels.

Bohemian waxwings, just smaller than robins, often move and feed in large flocks. In the Duluth area, these birds frequently feed on berries of mountain ash or crabapple trees.

It is believed that the birds may have become disoriented after eating the berries due to the fact that some are fermented or contain some small amounts of alcohol.

Duluth birder and birding guide Erik Bruhnke said that sometimes happens.

“I know that waxwings become intoxicated because of alcohol when the berries are fermented,” Bruhnke said.

“I have seen, a couple times, where the whole flock will sit on the ground in a slight daze after eating large amounts of fermented berries and fruits,” he added.

The Duluth Audubon Society is initiating a project called Birdsafe, an effort to reduce the number of birds killed or injured when they collide with buildings, said Jane Cleave, president of Duluth Audubon Society.

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