An eastern meadowlark, recently killed in a collision with a Chicago building. (Courtesy of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors)

Spring migration is still weeks away from reaching its peak in Chicago and already the tiny body bags are piling up, filled with birds killed in collisions with the city’s glass buildings.

Some of the birds gathered by the Field Museum that were killed in October 2023 after colliding with McCormick Place Lakeside Center. (Courtesy of Taylor Hains)

In mid-April, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development is set to release an update to the city’s sustainable development policy. No section of the policy will make bird-friendly design mandatory.

McCormick Place Lakeside Center's walls of glass and location on the lakefront are a deadly combination for birds. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Monday’s meeting of the McPier board was dominated by discussion of the mass death of 1,000 birds in a single day, killed after colliding with McCormick Place. Bird conservationists want a solution in place by spring migration.

A team at the Field Museum processes birds killed in collisions with McCormick Place during a massive migratory wave Oct. 4-5, 2023. (Daryl Coldren / Field Museum)

While the full tally of dead will never be known, wildlife advocates are certain of one thing: The vast majority of bird losses in the past week were preventable.

Field Museum staff collected 1,000 dead birds Thursday from the grounds of McCormick Place. (Courtesy of Taylor Hains)

Chicago is one of the deadliest cities for migrating birds and Thursday’s “insane abundance of migratory action” led to “insane mortality,” birders said. The remedy is as simple as flipping off a light switch.

Millions of birds, including warblers, will be migrating through Chicago. (Howard Walsh / Pixabay)

Millions of birds will pass over the Chicago region this weekend as migration kicks into high gear. Want to be a good host? Turn off your lights.

A rendering of Carvana’s proposed 14-story tower in Skokie. (Facebook)
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If the embattled online retailer still wants to build its tower in Skokie, the company will have to start the approval process back at square one, village trustees said.

Jim Tibensky, a volunteer with Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, nudges a bald eagle to shore New Year's Day in Waukegan Harbor. (Courtesy Nat Carmichael)

"Despite promising signs of recovery the first 48 hours, the bird took a very rapid turn for the worst," Willowbrook Wildlife Center shared on social media.

Jim Tibensky, a volunteer with Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, nudges a bald eagle to shore New Year's Day in Waukegan Harbor. (Courtesy Nat Carmichael)

Rescuing a bald eagle floating on ice in open water raises the stakes exponentially, but volunteers with Chicago Bird Collision Monitors proved up to the task with a New Year's Day recovery effort.

Hundreds of millions of birds are migrating through the U.S. this weekend. (hollandevens / Pixabay)

Hundreds of millions of birds are currently on the move every night across North America as they wing their way south during fall migration. Chicago is under a high alert Sunday, with a massive number of birds expected to pass overhead.

Dead sparrows collected following collisions in Washington, D.C., which, unlike Chicago, isn't situated in a migratory flyway and there are no buildings taller than 10 stories high. (USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab)

Robyn Detterlines March Chicago Collision Bird Migration Madness tournament may be a product of her own imagination, but the stakes are very real for birds when it comes to navigating their way safely through Chicago.

One of Carvana's auto vending machines. (Courtesy of Carvana)

In response to concerns about putting a see-through glass tower in the path of migrating birds, Carvana revised its plan to incorporate bird-friendly components. Critics called the proposed mitigations “woefully inadequate.” 

One of Carvana's auto vending machines. (Courtesy of Carvana)

A 140-foot-tall transparent structure that’s brightly illuminated 24/7, located across the street from Harms Woods nature preserve, along a key migratory greenway, is a triple threat to birds, environmentalists say.

The notch in this sandhill crane's beak was caused by a plastic bottle cap, which became caught and kept the bird from being able to eat. (Willowbrook Wildlife Center / Facebook)

The U.S. needs a national strategy to deal with its plastic waste problem, which the country produces at a greater rate than the entire European Union combined, according to a new report. Interventions can’t come soon enough for wildlife.

The Thompson Center’s glass facade wouldn’t pass muster today under a new law requiring bird-friendly design for state buildings. (WTTW News)

Nearly 600 million birds are killed annually in North America due to collisions with buildings. A new Illinois law mandates bird-friendly design for state buildings.

A baby gull. (Elien Said / Pixabay)

Bird monitors said the gull colony is probably stressed in some way, either from lack of food, not enough room on the roof or extreme heat.