Urban Hazards to Birds

Luke Franke / Audubon

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Urban habitats can be hazardous.

In the long evolutionary history of birds, our modern cities are brand new appearances on the landscape. Seattle’s first skyscraper, Smith Tower, was practically just erected in 1914. Since then, our cities have continued to grow and change dramatically, bringing new hazards to birds: free-ranging cats, glass, artificial light at night, and pesticides, to name a few. Not all birds are equiped to navigate these hazards, and the impacts can be devastating.

Seattle Audubon is committed to reducing urban hazards to birds. Learn more about urban hazards and what you can do to help.

Free-ranging Cats

If you have a cat in your life, one of the most powerful ways you can help birds is to keep the kitty inside, on a leash, or in a catio. It is so much safer for your cat, too. Click to learn more about saving birds by keeping cats indoors.

     Charles Lam/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Glass Windows and Structures

Birds behave as if they are unable to see glass. The literal impacts are astonishing: up to one billion birds die due to collisions with buidlings each year in the United States. Click to learn how you can prevent bird-window collisions.

           Tom Hissong/Great Backyard Bird Count


Artificial Light at Night

Artificial light at night can have a “beacon effect” on birds. This often occurs during migration periods, when large numbers of birds are attracted toward brightly lit cities and become disoriented, making them more vulnerable to collisions and other urban hazards. Click to learn how you can reduce the impacts of artificial light at night on birds.

Still Vision/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Rat Poison and Other Pesticides

You know who loves a rat? Your local Red-tailed Hawk. Bad news, though: popular rodent control practices create poison-laced rats that can also harm animals that eat rats. Click to learn how you can reduce the impacts of rat poisons and other pesticides on birds.

Sign up for SCAN!

Sign up for the Seattle Conservation Activist Network (SCAN) to be notified of advocacy opportunities for the protection of birds.

Tension Over Owls Impacts ‘East 90’ Access

Tension Over Owls Impacts ‘East 90’ Access

Conflicts over Short-Eared Owls, other birds, and access to habitat in Bow, Washington, prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to update access rules to the Samish River Unit of the Skagit Wildlife Area.

Snoqualmie Announce Land Donation

Snoqualmie Announce Land Donation

Seattle Audubon and Snoqualmie Indian Tribe recently closed on a land donation in the Snoqualmie Valley area, returning land to the Snoqualmie Tribe whose people have lived in the area since time immemorial.