Human-related Causes of Bird Mortality

Updated December 2023, with a chart using data from a 2017 USFWS report

This chart was prepared by Matt Lomicka (thanks!) from data in a 2017 USFWS report
Outdoor cats (house pets as well as feral cats) are by far the largest cause of human-related mortality in North American birds. And while these data are estimates, cat predation is among the most carefully studied of all of these causes, so the number of birds killed by cats is one of the most well-supported in the chart. 
More info on cats and birds can be found at the American Bird Conservancy, and the USFWS report and lots more info can be found here.


143 thoughts on “Human-related Causes of Bird Mortality”

  1. With regard to wind turbines, I don’t think the description that “as in the case of electrocutions, these birds tend to be large and scarce (e.g. raptors)” is accurate. With the exception of the Altamont Pass in CA (where raptor deaths have occured but in much smaller numbers than quoted above) very few raptors or large birds have been killed by wind turbines. I would suggest you look up the work of Paul Kerlinger who has studied this issue for 20+ years.


    1. Well said! There is an undertone of trolling, promoted by the Oil Industry that is circulating around social media, that distorts the truth most deliberately! Are they being paid, je me demande?

      1. How is hunting missing from this list?

        Way more than 328,000 wild birds are intentionally killed by humans in the USA annually. I’ve done some quick research and the first figure I found relates to the early 1970s, when hunting in the USA killed 120 million wild birds! Hunting is way up on this list and should definitely be there.

        I’d also be Interested to know the overlap between those who voice concern about birds being killed by wind turbines and those who intentionally kill them personally by hunting.

  2. Domestic cats most certainly are predators. Turned loose from human captivity they will readily revert to feral and do quite well, assuming they have the natural tools. And cats have been “blamed” for many things, including the supernatural. But when a cat ventures out and raids a pheasant nest, it does so because that’s what cats do. If one believes in a “Creator”, then the cat has an absolute right to kill the pheasants. People kill them for entertainment in most all cases.

    1. Bruce, while many cats are able to survive in the wild after domestication, it is a myth to say that they all do so “readily”. We have a serious problem in my area of people dumping cats because they believe this. The result is a large number of cats starving to death or living on garbage.

    2. Bruce,

      Regardless of whether you are convinced of the existence of a “Creator” house cats were CREATED by Humans from a wild species that is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. Domestic cats and their wild ancestor, the Wild Cat (Felis silvestris) were never part of the North American fauna. It’s unfortunate that you used another non-native species in your example. Feral cats as well as free-roaming pets kill large numbers of native birds, mammals and other small animals each year. You seem to imply that people killing pheasants for “entertainment” may be “wrong.” A cat allowed to roam freely or released to fend for itself is no different than a human indiscriminently firing a shotgun while walking blindfolded through the forest.

    3. Cats, if hungry, do indeed kill to eat. But any well-fed cat will hunt and kill FOR THEIR PLEASURE– it is their nature to do so. We are talking domestic cats, NOT NATIVE, NOT part of nature.

      1. Many animals kill for PLEASURE including coyotes. Many other animals are not native like the Feral Horse and the European Rabbit. So is that mean they are not PART OF NATURE as they are NOT NATIVE?

          1. You are making a broad simplification of the problem. Feral horses are protected because they are an integral part of American history. The United States would not be the amazing place it is today without them. However there is a gross over population of them because of uneducated people making decisions regarding them. The vote to protect them was put through by people in cities who did not understand the the rangeland can not support its natural wildlife without the horses being culled regularly. It is the same with cats, they provide valuable pest control however the decision not to kill them comes from a social stigma, caused by increased anthropomorphism of cats in literature. It is our duty to protect and steward the land but the people who know how to cant because ignorant people cant leave well enough alone and let the BLM do its job. and a case in point a person walking through the woods blindfolded firing a shotgun is one not going to do much damage just wasting money, and two isn’t going to get very far or anywhere near some animals, they will be bumping into trees and causing enough noise to wake the dead.

        1. It’s a part of nature humans are responsible for and which we should do our best to curb. The evolutionary response of many bird species to man-made threats will be to die or completely. Is that natural selection in action? Yes. Does that mean we should be okay with it and not do anything to stop it? Of course not.

          1. Cool so if we end up nuking ourselves and kill off all life except cockroaches, it’s just natural selection at work. Got it!

        2. and humans are the worst animals that kill for pleasure. They will, in fact find poor reasons.
          Ironically, white settlers are not indigenous to the US, and we are very invasive, and have pushed more birds to extinction, continue to do so, while trying to portray cats as a higher risk on the predator scale.
          There is a 2021 study refutation on the numbers credited to cats in this article, via a link.

          Yes, cats kill birds….at the numbers posited? I doubt it, seriously.

          1. Hi Allison, Your link is to a blog post, not the study, which is here: . And it’s important to point out that the study *does not dispute* the number of birds killed by cats, or the fact that some populations of birds and other animals are directly threatened by cat predation. Essentially they just argue that we should not be so quick to condemn cats for killing so many birds, because we don’t always know that it’s a threat to those bird’s populations.

            The impact of humans on wildlife is massive, but it has also been the focus of more than a century of regulation, which does a lot (still not enough) to limit that impact. So why shouldn’t cats be subject to some regulation? Cats shouldn’t get a free pass just because other things kill birds too.

          2. linda Oppenheimer

            domestic cats around my home are left out and no one knows where they go or WHAT THEY DO. well 2 yrs ago or transplanted a huge Hydrangea that was outside my front door. when I trimmed it to dig up , there were a Ton of feathers and carcass’🥲 I have a bird feeder about 10 feet from that plant ! Well there were two cats a yellow tabby and an all black cat, they would come and hide behind the hydrangea and wait for birds run out grab them and kill them😭 I tried to catch them in a havaheart trap to no avail . so I moved the hydrangea! No more birds killed for now!!!
            If you have a domestic cat, keep them indoors please !!!!

      2. According to the ABC link provided, cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion birds per year. The figure at the top of this page definitely needs updated to reflect this (it is currently at 500 million from this outdated 2003 figure). Of course it is the culmination of all of these problems together that negatively affect birds, but we need to report and share accurate numbers so we can begin to work towards solutions for each listed problem.

        1. Allison M. Schmitt

          I question the high number. I think it is impossible to know how many birds cats kill, and I think it is possible that cats get blamed for a lot of other predators.
          How many birds do hawks and snakes kill?
          Most animals will eat birds, however there are quite a few who depend on birds in their diet, and they are not the animals you’d suspect.
          There is an essay out about cats being a dumping ground of numbers on bird deaths, and while cats are bird predators, the numbers do not add up rationally. They are not supported by any means, with data.

    4. Yes, it is a cat’s nature to hunt. If you believe in a creator then they were created to be excellent predators. The problem is that cats are not native to much of the world where people keep them as pets. They have an advantage over animals that are native in these areas. In addition, their numbers are artificially high because so many cats are abandoned and their diets are supplemented by people who let their pets roam. There is overwhelming research that shows that domestic cats (pets and feral cats, both) have led to the extinction or local extirpation of native bird and mammal species. If you love your cat, keep it indoors for its protection and the protection of native species.

    5. Exactly. People hint for entertainment. Cat kills are grossly overestimated. Cats have only been indoor petscrecently yet cat haters claim catsnare now a huge problem. Sterile grass lawns full of chemicals are a huge problem. No bird habitat at all.

  3. Bruce, what does believing in a creator have to do with having a right to kill ??? Killing for entertainment? Huh?

    Thanks for this overview, David!

    1. If one believes in a creator who created the various species, then one would necessary have to believe that the creator intended predators to kill. Indeed, many species have to kill to live. I don’t think a cat could survive on a vegetarian diet. So either the cat kills or is fed animals that others have killed and made into cat food.

      1. Cats that are forced to eat a vegetarian diet go blind.
        They are carnivores and must eat meat to stay

        1. Actually, cats can live on a vegan diet as long as it is supplemented with taurine and other key nutrients. By the way, because taurine is destroyed in the process of turning meat into commercial cat food, even meat based cat foods are supplemented with taurine.

          1. Better solution: keep your pet cats inside.

            Trap + sterilize feral cats so they can’t breed.

            Most people aren’t going to/can’t afford to go vegan for their pets, sorry not sorry.

  4. This article and many others only track birds killed unnaturally by external factors, such as cars or cats. Of course birds, like people and other creatures, have finite lifetimes. It would be interesting to know how many die of “normal” effects of aging, such as heart disease and cancer. That would make the number of “unnatural” deaths more significant.

  5. This sounds like the spineless ‘above the law’ spew of “that’s what cats Do” impudent monsters …isn’t that like telling the neighborhood if you don’t like my unlicensed, unneutered, marauding predator in your yard thrill killing the birds that you’ve opened your yard up to, a personal sanctuary if you please, Tough S— ‘Get used to it’. This is what the majority of predator Cats owners think and personally, they themselves are but impudent monsters – put here by a loving flying spagetti monster to Kill billions of birds for pleasure.
    A few months ago i caught this marauding predator with 1 of my 5 Blue Jays who daily came to my feeder,in its mouth, it killed a chick-a-dee too and that mate was soo soo soo unhappy it cried all around me as i picked up the little torn up carcass, this feral cat was on a killing spree mostly sparrows and one Eurasian Ring-neck that i could see in my tiny little sanctuary thanks to predator lovers. No We won’t get used to it.

    1. You are allowed to do whatever you want to any cat on your property, such as kill, poison, trap, etc., at least in Philadelphia, PA your allowed to do this.
      However, torturing them will get you a fine.

      Animal control does not respond to calls about domestic or wild cats.
      They only capture dogs.

      I find this to be upsetting, cruel and stupid.

  6. Hello I am a ninth grade student in an iowa high school and my physical science teacher has givin me a new project. That is to wright the pros and cons of wind turbinds and make a debate in front of the class. During the debate the oppsing team brought up that wind turbinds kill birds but on this site it says that birds die more from windows than wind turbinds. so do you think that killing birds is a liable reason not to build wind turbinds?

    1. Charles,

      From your post it is clear that you are smart enough to make up your own mind from the data available to you. Clearly emotional responses often indicate an opinion formed on the basis of events not related to the issue at hand.

      No energy source has no impact on the environment. The challenge is to try to use energy sources that represent the best long-term compromises with the least impact and are sustainable. If birds are the only issue of importance (and in my opinion, this is one of several important issues regarding energy) then you ought to compare how many birds are killed or habitat destroyed by acid rain or the construction of other types of power plants. Those are just two examples.

      Stay scientific. Let facts lead you. We need learned and calm consideration of our alternatives or we will never solve our problems. Your post gives me hope for our future.

      Good luck with your investigation!

      1. AnneMarie Ansel

        There are now ‘bird smart’ wind turbine installations which means studies on bird flight paths and migrations have been done at the proposed sites. The turbines are then located to avoid these paths.

      2. I appreciate your thoughtful response to this young kid so long ago. You showed them how to use critical thinking skills and gave them a chance to learn about how fact is different from opinion and hopefully how to spot the difference between the two when presented with both. I wish more people were like you in all the comments I read online.

  7. Re: wind turbines and raptors, I’m not sure exactly why that assumption is being perpetuated – Altamont Pass was hell on raptors, but new turbine designs don’t lure raptors in for perching… Instead they kill everything from warblers to ducks and beyond. I’m sure Altamont did the same, but raptors were the primary concern there. Raptors aren’t the whole story for new turbine designs. Bats have it far worse than birds and that needs to be addressed far more seriously than it has been historically.

    I’d like to see more of the ‘bladeless’ and vertical axis designs explored; 3 blade designs are hell on wildlife.

    1. Heidi, I think you would see a lot more bladeless windmills if the manufacturers hat to pay hefty fines for all the raptors they kill. Today, they get a free pass.

  8. Based on slovacool, “Contextualizing avian mortality: a preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity”, which finds an average avian mortality of 0.3/GWh, if the entire US electrical base (3700 TWh/yr) were replaced with wind turbines, approximately 1.2 million birds would die each year from wind power. This is approximately 1/100 the minimum estimate for bird deaths from windows, and an estimated 10-fold decrease in bird fatalities relative to a coal-fired grid (based on the same paper).

    I have tried to understand the fierce opposition to wind farms by some environmental groups. I suspect it is because they make easy targets. After all, they’re suppose to be good for the environment, right?. When viewed in comparison to alternatives, they seem to be more environmentally friendly, and thus should probably not be opposed with such zeal. When looking to minimize bird deaths, it also seems that even minor efforts to reduce kills by feral cats, windows, and cars would completely dwarf any change in kill rate possible with turbines, even with vertical axis designs.

  9. I see these estimate from the wind lobby are still around. In NJ they erected 5 large wind turbines near Atlantic City on an island in an estuary. There local Audubon Study concludes that 74 birds and bat were killed per turbine per year. 4 Osprey(pop 800) and 1 peregrine Falcon(pop 30) were confirmed killed and they estimate there recovery rate is only 37% so more were likely killed. There are thousand planned so the NE should plan for the extinction of many raptors… here is the the study

    Currently in California more Golden Eagles are killed by wind turbines than reproduced. The large more modern wind turbines actually are more in the flight path of large raptors and kill more. The SF Audubon has shown an increase in kills the better searches and larger turbines.

  10. How many Eagles are killed by windows? Feral cat killing Golden Eagles? I think the above estimate are a fraud places by wind turbine enthusiast. The EAgle protection act and the bird migration treaty both should be enforced against wind turbine companies, just like against oil companies. But the flow of subsidies to wind are just too great…the Gov of Maine went into the wind industry after setting up the laws to enrich himself.

  11. One last comment about the estimated BILLION birds hitting building…I have seen estimated that say we have 8-10 Billion birds in the USA…do you really believe that 10-15 percent of the bird population is wiped out every year?

  12. I often wonder at these studies —- do they ever ask questions of people
    outside the study group ??
    A classic case is the disappearance of song birds in our neighborhood,
    The main reason is the growth in population of MAGPIES & CROWS
    I have seven bird houses within my garden , all of them used to be occupied, but alas the magpies nesting in a neighbors garden has chased away our small birds.

  13. I wonder what this chart would look like if it incorporated the results of the recent Smithsonian / USFWS study that claims that up to 3.7 billion and no fewer than 1.1 billion birds are killed by cats annually. It is clear that the authors of this study did no cross-checking of their math, so it would be interesting to work through some of the ramifications. For instance, on this chart, every single bird death from every anthropogenic cause and then some would have to be shifted to cats.

  14. I am extremely familiar with birds. Do you know that hawks kill millions of non-agressive songbirds doves, and pigeons a year. Cooper Hawks alone according to the last study read, kill 7 million birds a year by themselves, this does not include any of the other species of Hawks, or owls. I see many hawks in very urban neighborhoods. If you wonder where your songbirds went, they either relocated due to pressure, or were killed by the hawks. My understanding is hawks are protected? Maybe it’s time for revaluation of which species or raptor needs to be protected. My experience with turbines is the wind would have to push the birds int
    O them, it’s not something they would seek

    1. Glad to see someone with a different but certainly relevant perspective on the topic of bird population reduction. Nesting Red Tail Hawks in my neighbourhood have almost eliminated the presence of most bird types simply by their presence and voracious appetites. I have to question the fact avian predatory activity is not considered in the tables presented above. Likewise, intense weather conditions (climate change?) play havoc with nesting practices and must have some impact on the overall reduction in reproduction numbers.

  15. Surely an engineer could design a strong, fine mesh guard that would protect birds and bats from the whirling blades? Obviously two drawbacks would be (a) some wind resistance, and (b) greater expense to produce. Perhaps the first problem could be offset by erecting more wind turbines. Then, with a greater demand for more turbines, they may become more affordable. If new safety standards could be introduced to the effect that all blades must be shielded, this would, in turn, generate more business for green energy industries. Even more so if a government grant towards research and development in this area could be obtained.

  16. I’m not so concerned with the bird deaths as weather the technology is sustainable. Yes there are better windmill designs then the props on a stalk, but bottom line it’s what do they really contribute to the grid? Since any form of wind energy device seems too frenetic and intermittent to deliver dispatchable electricity, and has to be double shadowed by gas powered peaking plants, that leads to increased infrastructure costs and increased fossil consumption then if the peaking plants operated alone, then wind is not so sustainable as it is portrayed. And for that factor they must be heavily subsidized at tax and rate payers expense.

    The best use of wind and solar cells is for heating water. They also be used for running independent heaters or coolers that are not run off the grid, sort of like supplemental energy sources.

    I have never run across a working blade-less wind energy device but here is one alternative:
    Progressive Field Wind Turbines

    But the lobbyists for the big market players may never let these out of the prototype stage. Renewables are mostly a scam. In fact wind farms are the original invention of ENRON and were pushed by Al Gore.

    But there is also a conflict on official reports vers unofficial reports.

    Mar 18, 2013
    Hiding the Slaughter – Up to 39 Million Birds and Bats Are Killed Each Year by Wind Turbines

    In other words the official bird death reports due to windmills looked to be greatly fudged, like global temperature increases.

  17. David, who prepared this 2003 chart? What is the geographic basis? North America? The US? It’s always helpful to include the source and formal reference(s) when putting something like this ‘out there’ ! I wonder if these results are generalizable worldwide. Is there European research on this?

  18. Did no one notice how many WINDOWS are responsible for bird deaths? Are we not accountable? Is it in our nature to have to have them? Comments please…

  19. Every study I have looked at from West Inc. has been scientific garbage. This outfit works for the wind industry and they are behind this on going deception.

    All this is nothing more than a continuation of the decades old pattern of deceit that has been taking place with the Wind Industry and our Interior Department. In fact I have yet to come across a single credible study related to the wind industry’s mortality impacts. Peer reviewed or not it does not matter.

    As for the billions of birds being killed by communication towers, buildings, windows and domestic cats here is the truth………..Communication towers, buildings, windows and domestic cats kill very few raptors and bats. In fact raptor and bat deaths at communication towers are virtually nonexistent. While it is true that millions of more common, city dwelling birds are killed by windows, none of this mortality has anything to do with the rare and highly protected species like eagles being slaughtered by wind turbines in their remote habitats. The Interior department knows this and could correct this falsehood overnight; instead they have allowed this garbage to circulate for years. It is even on their website.

    One final thought about West Inc. and their absurd mortality analysis, they forgot to include the billions of chickens and turkeys killed each year at processing plants.

    1. I liked your pointing out the billions of chickens and turkeys killed each year at processing plants, but you left out ducks, geese (can you say liver pate), quail, squab (pigeon) and pheasant that are farm raised.

      Add to this the number of birds that hunters kill each year.

      Then there is all the scientific research where they kill birds, especially chickens.

      Did you consider animal shelters at all ?
      They do kill birds.
      You just don’t hear much about it.

      Continuing, we should count the eggs that are eaten as bird deaths too, as they are fertile eggs and would have become baby chicks had they not been taken from the hen that laid them.

      Last, I would like to mention bird flu and the required slaughter of massive numbers of birds, mostly ducks and chickens.

      It’s stunning we have any birds left, we kill so many every year.

      1. It would be interesting to find how many birds are born each year and what the normal wear and tear is on bird populations from natural predation are per year to then compare against the human caused losses listed above in order to see what is left to keep bird populations afloat. That would really give the public the proper big picture. The natural predation numbers we can’t do anything about, but knowing what a bird faces to reach adulthood and breed might give more value to those left.

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    1. Thank you, Jim. I may add that what we have here is a deliberate attack against the very foundation of our nature protection laws. Such laws have never been intended to apply in the same way to chicken, pidgeons, etc., other birds killed by windows and domestic cats, in the same way as to rare and endangered raports. In fact, this webpage makes mockery of several hundred years of efforts of naturalists and nature lovers across the world.

      We have industry, we have cities – what the point of having natural, non-industrialised landscapes? What is the point of protecting rare species, given that cars kills birds anyway! Lovely logic.

      Everything to make the world safe for wind turbines!

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  26. Oakes Plimpton

    Sibley Guides: You’ve left off your list of bird mortality the killing of Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, Purple Martins, Titmice, Chickadees and other hole nesting birds by House Sparrows!

    Long time birder Oakes (Plimpton)

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  29. I’m adding your site to blogs etc that I’m passing around a thought/idea about saving some of these birds…..
    It seems to me a (relatively) slow moving windmill might be made MUCH MORE “visible” by the addition of streamers which “should” make the blades look like a solid wheel to birds. I think MANY struck birds might also simply misjudge the speed of the passing blades. Heck, we humans are said to be a “more superior animal” and yet… We have been known to occasionally misjudge oncoming cars speed when crossing streets.
    I imagine some field testing would be needed to find the “Goldilocks”” ultimate method…. I.E. : What color ( something that reflects ultraviolet might be optimal as I believe most birds see in ultraviolet) or what widths of streamers, or fluttering modes versus not, and what material….. It’s possible that something tough/durable like even Kevlar MIGHT be needed, but..Maybe not. Hell, maybe PAINTING the blades with an ultraviolet glowing paint could help?

    Heck, for a few hundred dollars ( per multi THOUSANDS $$$ blades) one could even add some combination of smoke “puffers” and/OR lasers.
    BONUS: It might even be possible to have streamers that break up the air-vortexes that create the “whoosh-whoosh” noises which vex so many neighbors of windmills? OR… Some that make ultrasonic “noises” so as to include bats in this rescue. Gee, maybe birds like bats and cats, (but not windmill’s people neighbors) can hear that warning ultrasonic too?

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  39. Debbie Kortright

    We have had 4 hawks so far that have been electrocuted from the live wire on the pole in our back yard. The last one so far happened today. Our neighbors all enjoy watching these beautiful birds as they land on our trees, decks and pools. I have called the electric company many times. They have come here twice and made promises to come and fix it. They never do. They even tell me what days they will show up and then they don’t. I don’t know what else to do.

    1. Overhead wires are cheaper compared to buried power. Pure profit maximization by the power distribution companies. Bury the cables, no more crispy hawks.

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  42. The causes of death are many but it seems to me that two legged creature is without a doubt the the one most responsible – although indirectly. How do we control that creature? Quite a puzzle.

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  53. But it OK for humans to murder billions of animals a year and cause the largest and fastest rate of extinction and yet they are allowed to continue. I believe one thing that could actually help is that every animal owner get fined if their pets are not spay and neutered. All domestic pets should be fixed and microchipped or fined, period. Yes population control should be enforced. But leave these beautiful things that were also created ALONE, They ARE a part of nature.…/…/07/extinction-species-evolve

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  57. Our indoor dove passed away after we rescued him 15 years ago. We can’t figure out what happened. He had his own room with a window and no one could get to him.

    We found him dead with all of his feather plucked and arranged in one area of the room. He only had small scratches on his body with no blood.

    Wondering if it was some type of supernatural occurrence or not? Has this happened to anyone else? We loved our “Windy” so much!! Thank you!!

  58. I appreciate your thoughtful response to this young kid so long ago. You showed them how to use critical thinking skills and gave them a chance to learn about how fact is different from opinion and hopefully how to spot the difference between the two when presented with both. I wish more people were like you in all the comments I read online.

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  62. To those trolls and Trump lovers decrying the all powerful wind industry lobby and its subsidies..

    Compared to the power of and taxpayer subsidies to coal, oil, gas, and mining fossil fuel empires, to agribusiness and chemical empires, and those developers razing habitat to build towers et al, your stance is laughable. Another example of “Keep your pesky facts, I have my (ignorant or denialist) BELIEFS.”

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  65. I am perplexed by a strange omission in the list of causes of bird deaths and that is other birds. Members of the crow family -magpies jays etc notoriously attack the nests of smaller birds feeding on the eggs and killing and eating all the chicks, Even woodpeckers will do this -( there is a dreadful video of this happening from the British Wildlife Aid ). Can someone explain this ommission to me?

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  68. What about CIGARETTE BUTTS, which I pick up by the many-many-many hundreds, if not thousands in simple walks along well traveled paths.

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  72. Birds can experience sudden death anytime, and most of the time, the cause is the food they intake. Toxic food kills birds instantly, and they must be kept from the avians.

  73. Caffeine is part of the daily routine of humans. It boosts the energy levels, and elevates heart rate. But the good effects of caffeine on people are fatal when it comes to the avian species.

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  75. You forgot to include birds killing other birds. Because a lot of them do but nobody likes to look at that. Do you really think birds are dumb enough to stay on the ground when there’s ANYTHiNG around. If you make even the slightest sound open a window breathe they fly off there’s absolutely no freaking way that Their lookout – and they all have Lookouts – Misses very much crawling their way. All animals will get some birds don’t spend most of the time on the ground FaceTime most of the time in trees are in the air this is so dumb.

  76. You know what I don’t see here? Any estimation of how many birds die from OTHER BIRDS. BIRDS prey on birds – something I didn’t realize actually happened because I don’t see it in print anywhere – but should have. Birds have a prey structure same as fish. Big birds eat smaller birds and everybody eats the little birds. If you look it up its around but something nobody mentions. That seems like it should be at least listed if not a major reason for death. After all – nature is metal.

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  80. “Mike Miller
    August 17, 2017 at 1:54 PM
    Please, please, please, update this chart with the current data. I just came across yet another cat advocate using this page as a reference to try to show that cats are not that big a threat to birds (as if 500 million birds killed were not THAT much). ”

    And I’ve just encountered ANOTHER such cat advocate using this figure. How do you reconcile your figure with the estimate of Loss et al (2015) (Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 46: 99-120) that cats kill c. 2.6 BILLION birds annually in N America, vs. 624 million for windows??? Your figure specifies “feral” cats, but domestic pets, as subsidized hunters, are far more serious problem (see As an authority on birds, you owe it to them to update/explain this information.

  81. As a birder myself, I have taken MANY photos of birds eating other birds. On the wing, on the ground, or from nests. There are many speices of birds that eat other birds. Do you have any stats on this? I suspect they will rival and exceed those taken by cats.

  82. I’ve just updated the page to reflect recent data on bird mortality, so all previous comments apply to a different chart and discussion.

    In response to the questions about birds eating birds, that is something that happens naturally and we can’t and shouldn’t control it. This page is all about bird mortality that is related to the actions of humans, which is something we can and should control.

    1. “Updated” is relative. It’s 2024 and a a lot has changed in the past 7 yrs. More turbine, buildings, electrical wire, communication towers… What you left out of your calculations is Climate Change. Warming oceans, drought, wildfires, changes in habitat and food sources, etc … all caused by natural and manmade climate change is causing the deaths of birds as evidenced by the mass die-off in New Mexico in 2023 and in the documented increasing frequency of mass seabird die-offs due to ocean warming.

  83. Birds are heavenly, feral cats come from inferno where they are destined to return–Sorry cats, it’s curtains.

    We use havaheart traps and the lake by our house. Works very well.

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