The Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas has decorative decals on their windows so birds don't collide with them and die.EXPAND
The Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas has decorative decals on their windows so birds don't collide with them and die.
Nashwa Bawab

Dallas City Windows are Killing Hummingbirds

(Editor's note: I smoke, so I go outside our building a lot. Lot of birds crash into our glass office building, but right now it's like a hummingbird apocalypse out there. I really like hummingbirds, and I'm the boss, so here's a story. BTW, if you're a hiker and like hummingbirds, check out Hummingbird Saddle in New Mexico, possibly the coolest place on the planet. Now, the story.)

If you’re anything like thousands of other Texans working in a tall building in downtown Dallas, you might have noticed that your beautiful bird’s-eye view is killing the actual birds — specifically hummingbirds passing through North Texas on their way to a warmer winter.

Texas has a lot of hummingbird diversity, according to Nick Kanakis, bird friendly communities educator at the Trinity River Audubon Center, with the black-chinned hummingbird and the ruby-throated hummingbird being specific to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The hummingbirds are in the middle of their fall migration, which began in early August and will end in October or early November. But as they pass through Dallas, the reflective windows on downtown buildings can block their flight path and make their migration deadly.

“It's actually a huge problem in the city, especially for migrating birds,” Kanakis said.

Anywhere between 100 million and 1 billion birds die from window collisions in the United States annually, according to a 2014 study.

While hitting a window and dying may seem like a bleak ending for the poor hummingbirds, Kanakis said it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Decals and details placed outside of windows break up the reflection and can be super effective,” he said. “There are even decorative decals that you can buy online that are really affordable.”

The Trinity River Audubon Center has decals on its windows for that purpose themselves.

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