REBUILT, EXPANDED DBIRD AIMS TO SPREAD ITS WINGS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA

dBird, NYC Audubon's online crowd-sourced bird mortality and injury data collection tool, has been rebuilt in partnership with Seattle Audubon and moved to a new home at https://dbird.org. Launched just in time for spring migration, a greatly expanded dBird allows Audubon chapters and other organizations across North America to report and manage bird-mortality data within their own regions.

Collisions with windows kill an estimated 100 million to 1 billion birds annually in the U.S. At NYC Audubon, we have been researching collisions in New York City since 1997 through our Project Safe Flight volunteer monitoring program. Data collected by Project Safe Flight volunteers help us to understand the dynamics of bird-building collisions, what causes them, and ways to prevent them from occurring.
Among the warblers, the Common Yellowthroat is the most frequently found collision victim in New York City—but 32 warbler species have been found here, including the Blackburnian Warbler (bottom right). Photo: Sophie Butcher

To augment our formal Project Safe Flight collision monitoring and widen our dataset beyond volunteer reports, we launched dBird in 2014. Then-staff member Darren Klein built dBird to provide an easy way for the general public to enter records of dead and injured birds wherever they found them, using either a smartphone or computer. The crowd-sourced data has helped provide context and guidance for our traditional collision-monitoring protocols.  

While dBird was initially created as a tool to report collisions in New York City, we received reports logged far beyond the City’s five boroughs—from cities like Los Angeles to as far away as China! Realizing the potential for this tool to be used across the country, we found a way to expand the scope of dBird and make it even more useful for cities and areas outside New York City.
Zoomed in over Manhattan and Queens, the dBird map shows dead (orange dots) and injured (yellow dots) birds reported in 2020. A total of 1,872 dead and injured birds was reported in New York City by the public through dBird.org last year, more than double the previous year’s total of 772.
These efforts have led to a new, improved dBird, re-launched this past March in collaboration with Seattle Audubon. Rebuilt by Darren Klein, the new dBird features an expanded list of species to report, and now includes all North American species. Additionally, we added a new field to track causes of death and injury other than window collisions (e.g., entanglement or vehicle collision). We have also bolstered and simplified the website design so that it now allows  organizations around the country to easily track mortality and injuries within their own study areas. 

We look forward to sharing this valuable tool with other conservation organizations and seeing dBird help address bird mortality from window collisions more broadly. Organizations interested in using dBird can fill out this form! For more information about dBird and to learn how your organization can use it, email kparkins@nycaudubon.org.
dBird now features an expanded species list sourced from the eBird listing of all species reported in the United States.


Acknowledgments

The Leon Levy Foundation
Leadership support for NYC Audubon’s Project Safe Flight Program is provided by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Jim and Birte Falconer
Jim and Birte Falconer funded the 2020 dBird redesign and expansion as part of Seattle Audubon’s Bird-safe Cities program.