Tuesday night a heartbreaking scene unfolded in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hundreds of birds, identified as Chimney swifts, flew into the side of the NASCAR Hall of Fame building, which resulted in many deaths and injuries.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responded to the scene after the birds had reportedly been flying into the side of the building for an hour.
Holl Belle captured the horrifying scene on camera.
“There’s something wrong with them,” Belle said. “This is not ok.”
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there’s nothing wrong with these birds. Glass windows can be deadly for birds, especially migrating ones. Since windows can reflect foliage, the sky, or even a bird, it tricks the bird into thinking it’s a place it can fly through.
Unfortunately, when a bird flies into a window, the results are often deadly, as was the case in Charlotte.
However, that didn’t stop Carolina Waterfowl Rescue from trying to help the birds. The rescue transported 310 birds back to their facility where 97 were dead on arrival, nine had to be euthanized, 103 sustained injuries that required treatment, and 102 were just stunned. CWR hopes that the birds that didn’t suffer any injuries will be able to be released within a few days.
Now that the birds are in their care, they need help. CWR will be looking for volunteers to help feed the Chimney swifts as they need to be hand-fed worms.
The rescue is also accepting donations for staff who need to work overtime and the “enormous amount of worms” they will need to feed all of the birds. If you would like to donate to help CWR, you can visit their Facebook for more information.
In order to prevent this horrible tragedy from happening again, Cornell recommends placing decals, netting, or mosquito screens on large windows to combat reflections on windows.
The National Audubon Society also has a campaign that urges everyone to turn off lights at night to prevent these incidents, especially when birds migrate.
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