Up to a Billion Birds Die in the U.S. Annually Crashing into WindowsS

A new report finds that between 365 and 988 million birds die annually from crashing into windows in the United States alone. That's 10 percent of the bird population of the entire country, according to the Washington Post.

While domestic and feral cats still kill more birds a year, somewhere between 1.3 and 4 billion, humans are still responsible for quite a chunk. And the source of the deaths isn't what you might think. Rather than skyscrapers blocking migratory patterns, it's small buildings that are knocking out more birds.

Buildings four to 11 stories tall cause around 56 percent of the avian deaths, with buildings one to three stories tall making up the remaining 44 percent. Skyscrapers cause less than one percent, reports the study.

Feeling guilty about your complicity? There are a ton of possibilities for keeping birds safe. Turning off artificial lights at night helps, but also check out these ultraviolet maple-leaf window decals, hawk stickers, or dab some tempera paint on the window glass. They might not look the prettiest, but they save lives.

Oh, and keep your cat inside. It's a menace.

[Image via Lawrence Rayner / Flickr]