The Saving North American Songbird Program, led by Animal Care Manager, Amy Mohr addresses several of the many challenges facing North America's songbird population. Migratory birds fly hundreds or even thousands of miles to find the best conditions and habitats for feeding, breeding, and raising their young. Kansas City is a major flyover city and every spring and fall, millions of birds migrate through the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, North American songbird populations are in decline, with building collisions and light pollution being major contributors.
Birds are unable to visually detect glass, and often incur fatal injuries attempting to fly to habitat reflected in or seen through glass paneling. Birds don't understand that trees or sky reflected in windows are just an illusion. Scientific research has estimated that there are between 365 million to 1 billion bird fatalities from window collisions in the United States each year. The Kansas City Zoo is using special window treatments, "bird dots" to make the glass more "visible" and to help with bird strike prevention. In addition, the Zoo has installed a Motus Wildlife Tracking Station to help scientist track and better understand bird migration in our area and globally.
You can help the songbird population by applying UV reflective anticollision decals on the outside of your home or office windows and by shutting off unnecessary lights and closing blinds after dark. Other threats to songbirds include the feral cat population and an overall lack of habitat, you can help the bird population by keeping pet cats indoors and planting native plants in your at home garden.
The Kansas City Zoo supports the survival of the North American Songbird as active SAFE program members.