Hundreds of birds crash into NYC skyscraper

Category : Science/Environment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. migrate / ˈmaɪ greɪt / (v.) – to travel from one area to another when the season changes

    During winter, whales migrate to warmer areas in order to give birth.

  2. mass casualty event / mæs ˈkæʒ u əl ti ɪˈvɛnt / (n.) – an event that causes harm or destruction to a large number of people, animals, etc. within a short period of time

    Police officers are trained to respond to mass casualty events like huge accidents.

  3. littered with (something) / ˈlɪt ərd wɪθ / (adj.) – covered with many things in a messy way

    Janet just cleaned the house, but now the floor’s littered with her children’s toys again.

  4. carcass / ˈkɑr kəs / (n.) – the dead body of an animal

    We saw a deer carcass lying in the middle of the road.

  5. persistent / pərˈsɪs tənt / (adj.) – continuing for a long time

    Harry’s been experiencing persistent back pains for months now.


Read the text below.

Hundreds of birds migrating through New York City over the week from Sept. 13 died after crashing into the city’s glass towers, a mass casualty event spotlighted by a New York City Audubon volunteer’s tweets showing the World Trade Center littered with bird carcasses.

The week’s avian death toll was particularly high, but bird strikes on Manhattan skyscrapers are a persistent problem that NYC Audubon has documented for years, said Kaitlyn Parkins, the group’s associate director of conservation and science.

Stormy weather on Sept. 13 into Sept. 14 contributed to the deaths, she said.

“We had a big storm and sort of weird weather and lots of birds, and that’s sort of the perfect combination that can lead to bird-window collisions,” Parkins said.

Melissa Breyer, the volunteer who tweeted about finding nearly 300 birds on sidewalks surrounding the new World Trade Center towers, said the experience was “overwhelming.”

“As soon as I got to the buildings, the birds were everywhere … the sidewalks were literally covered with birds,” Breyer said. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The bird strikes on Manhattan skyscrapers are a persistent problem that NYC Audubon has documented for years. Why do you think the problem hasn’t been solved yet (ex. there’s no way to solve it, the solution is too expensive)? Do cities in your country have the same problem? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s possible to keep developing the world (ex. improving technology, adding modern structures) without negatively affecting animals? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • One witness found nearly 300 birds on the sidewalks and said that the experience was “overwhelming.” How would you react if you had a similar experience? Why? Discuss.
  • Who do you think should be responsible for cleaning up after the bird strikes (ex. the building owners, the city)? Why? Discuss.
Category : Science/Environment