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Red-headed woodpeckers are one of the birds threatened by climate change.
Red-headed woodpeckers are one of the birds threatened by climate change. (Gary Robinette/Audubon Photography Awards)

For those who feel helpless or directionless in the face of becoming “climate champions” or for those who would like to do even more than vote and advocate on behalf of the environment, there are simple actions you can take immediately to help birds (“A report says climate change will harm Baltimore orioles and other birds in Maryland,” Oct. 11).

As causes for bird mortality go, outdoor and feral cats and window collisions take second and third place to habitat loss resulting from climate change and other factors. You can address the second largest cause of bird mortality by keeping your cats indoors and supporting TNC (trap, neuter and contain) programs rather than TNR (trap, neuter and return) efforts. Cats are an invasive species and our native birds and other wildlife have not evolved to deal with the hundreds of millions of them estimated to roam freely outdoors in the United states. Cats kill up to an estimated 4 billion birds per year in the U.S. alone and we can start to address that loss by containing our cats like we do our dogs.

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You can also make your windows visible to birds or urge your employer to do the same at their building. Birds do not perceive glass as a barrier and die or are injured while trying to fly through glass to a reflected tree or bush. Windows kill up to an estimated 1 billion birds per year in the U.S. alone, and a spectrum of window treatments, from simple do it yourself to fancy and professional, can be found at the American Bird Conservancy’s website. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology details five more simple actions you can immediately take to help birds here: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/seven-simple-actions-to-help-birds/

Nicole Hartig

The writer is a volunteer with Lights Out Baltimore Volunteer.

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