Travel & Places United States

Multi-colored Rows of Tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

11. Sports Nets

Soccer, volleyball and other outdoor sporting nets as well as protective nets placed around athletic fields can be hazardous to birds that fly into them and become tangled. The birds can struggle and suffocate or injure themselves trying to get free from nets.

You can help: Remove nets after play is complete so they will not be a hazard to birds, or opt for brightly colored nets that will be more visible. Choosing nets with either very wide or very fine mesh will also help minimize bird casualties.

12. Outdoor Lights

Tall buildings lit up at night or tall lights left burning all night can disorient migrating birds and cause exhaustion and window collisions as birds try to navigate toward the lights. Millions of birds die on annual migrations because of collisions with illuminated skyscrapers.

You can help: Encourage your city to support "Lights Out" programs during spring and fall migration seasons, and volunteer to patrol hazardous areas to help injured birds get help after collisions. Turn off your own outdoor lights at night.

13. Bird Houses

Well meaning backyard birders put up thousands of bird houses annually, but unsafe houses are more hazardous than helpful. An unsafe house may not have ventilation to keep birds cool, or an unsafe perch can be a convenient handhold for opportunistic predators to kill nestlings.

You can help: Only use safe birdhouses in your backyard, and monitor the houses regularly to keep them in peak condition.

14. Invasive Birds

Where one bird thrives another suffers, and invasive birds outside their native ranges will usurp the best feeding and nesting areas away from delicate native populations. Invasive birds are often aggressive and have explosive population growth that can be devastating to native species.

You can help: Take steps to discourage house sparrows and other invasive birds, and use proper bird houses and protected bird feeders to provide for native species.More »

15. Poaching

Illegal poaching for the exotic pet trade can be devastating to many tropical birds, particularly finches, parrots, tanagers, parakeets and other colorful species that are perceived to have a high economic value. These birds are often taken illegally from nests and subject to brutal conditions before they arrive at pet stores and exotic animal dealers, and their mortality rate is high.

You can help: Avoid purchasing pet birds from unauthorized retailers and report any suspicious pet acquisitions at local stores. Support strict laws and punishments to discourage illegal exotic pet trade.

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