[va-bird] FW: [BIRDCHAT] Request for Info: Washington Monument (in D.C.)]

  • From: Susan Heath <sheath@xxxxxxx>
  • To: VA Birds <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:04:32 -0500

I plucked this from MDOsprey where it had been plucked from BirdChat. Seems some of us in northern VA might be able to help this guy.


---------------------- Forwarded Message: --------------------- From: "Robert DeCandido, PhD" <rdcny@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: BIRDCHAT@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [BIRDCHAT] Request for Info: Washington Monument (in D.C.) Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:34:31 +0000


For a research paper I am writing on the effects of night-lighting of tall
buildings upon night migrating birds, I need some info from anyone familiar
with the area immediately around the Washington Monument in Wash. D.C.

Briefly, in the 1930s, when the upward-directed lights were first(?) pointed
at the monument at night, large numbers (100-300) birds would collide with
the structure on certain nights each year, usually between mid-Sept. and
mid.-Oct.  (Note that such collisions also occurred BEFORE the lights were
turned on at night on the Monument in the 1920s... However, I can find no
hard numbers for that era.)  Few (if any) collisions occurred during spring
migration back then, and that is still true today.

My question is for those who have birded the Washington Monument area for
many years (or are familiar with this issue there). Are such &quot;big kill&quot;
(&gt;100/dead birds) nights still happening? Any info on the current situation
would be greatly appreciated.

Here in NYC at the Empire State Building (ESB), big kill nights occurred
between the 1930s and 1970s, on average about once every seven to twelve
years.  I am not aware of any that have occurred since 1980, though would be
interested to know if someone has other info. In 2004-05, I have monitored
the fall migration each night from early August through mid-November at the
ESB.  I have found three dead birds on the Observation Deck during this time.

Thanks.  Feel free to email directly or post to this list,

Robert DeCandido, PhD

-- Susan A. Heath George Mason University Environmental Science Department Fairfax, VA

Secretary, Virginia Avian Records Committee
Keeper, Virginia Comp List at www.virginiabirding.org

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