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Television Tower Mortality of Migrant Birds in Western New York and Youngstown, Ohio

Sara R. Morris, Arthur R. Clark, Laura H. Bhatti and Jamin L. Glasgow
Northeastern Naturalist
Vol. 10, No. 1 (2003), pp. 67-76
Published by: Eagle Hill Institute
DOI: 10.2307/3858673
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858673
Page Count: 10
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Television Tower Mortality of Migrant Birds in Western New York and Youngstown, Ohio
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Abstract

Nocturnally migrating birds often collide with man-made structures, particularly during inclement weather conditions. This study examines television tower kill data from 1970 to 1999 in western New York and from 1974 to 1992 in Youngstown, Ohio. Television towers were visited regularly during the fall months and any dead birds found around the tower were salvaged. The number of dead birds salvaged varied annually, ranging from a high in 1982 of 4,787 to a low of 6 in 1992 in New York and from 1,130 in 1975 to 18 in 1992 in Ohio. At both locations, the number of salvaged birds significantly decreased during the course of the study, and this decline was documented for each of the three television towers in New York. Several explanations may account for the variation in the rate of mortality in recent years, including an overall decrease in migratory bird populations, a potential change in patterns of wind direction and cloud cover, an increase in predation around the tower sites, and/or a change in migration patterns.

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