Volunteers embark on a daily search in Chicago for injured and dead birds

CHICAGO (CBS) – Sometimes our life experiences here at CBS 2 inspire the stories we make.

Photojournalist Allen Maniscalco caught sight of an injured bird over the weekend.

He was surprised that a volunteer bird rescue answered his call for help so quickly.

As it turns out, an entire army of bird warriors comes to Chicago every day.

Allen and Morning Insider Lauren Victory tagged with the team looking for birds that were injured or worse.

Chicago at dawn can be dazzling, sometimes too bright for those flying by.

At sunrise, “Chicago Bird Collision Monitor” go hunting. Our glittering buildings are magnets for migratory birds to be confused by the glass that stops some in their path, stunning them or killing them.

Annette Prince runs a volunteer team that searches nooks and crannies downtown every day. They found warbler, warbler and other species trying to make their way through our region to hotter places like South America.

Many discoveries are restorative quests.

“It’s really sad to see that this little guy made this whole trip and he’s dead,” Prince said, closing the bag and labeling a dead bird found in the Loop. The specimen was sent to the Field Museum.

“The dead birds are important because we use them to document the extent of the problem,” said Prince, who expects the bird problem and buildings to fly at least a little when the Chicago aldermen pass. law request Department of Planning and Development to consider bird safety when approving glass construction projects.

With a dead bird picked up in front of City Hall in hand, we asked Prince about progress.

“We’re waiting for Chicago to do it. They’ve really been dragging their heels for a few years,” she said, telling us there is no enforcement as the guidelines are still being written.

In a statement, the city’s Department of Planning and Development said “DPD is working to update the Chicago Sustainability Policy to include more stringent bird protection standards, among other improvements. . The update will be ready for public comment and refinement later this year. Implementation will begin in early 2023.”

Chicago Bird Collision Monitors’ bad work intensified last week and will continue through November as it’s fall migration season.

The good news is that not all found is lost. Injured birds are collected and transported to recovery and final release.

They are packed in paper bags when volunteers by the Detour each morning.

“Paper bags, you can’t suffocate anything. It’s porous. So they’re in a dark and quiet space where they can sit still,” Prince said.

In all, her team rescued more than 80 living feathered friends and collected more than 120 dead birds within a square mile radius, before rush hour.

What if you find a dead or injured bird? Call, don’t text, Chicago Bird Collision Monitors Hotline: 773-988-1867.

The nonprofit is always looking for volunteers because they go out every morning and answer calls throughout the day.

Here is more information about the training sessions taking place in September.

“We will be accepting new volunteers who can learn how to participate in our downtown oversight by attending a 9 a.m. in-person training session for a small group of (outdoor) groups. on one of the following Saturdays or Sundays:

September 10, 11, 17, 18.

Call 773-456-2473 to sign up for a training day. You will be given the exact location to meet once you have registered.

Or, you can join us for an evening training/orientation (on site) at 1328 W Randolph at 7:00 PM, September 22 or 26. Call 773-456- 2473 to register. “

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