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Trying To Save Birds in the Quad Cities

A local college professor is trying to prevent birds from dying in the Quad Cities. Dr. Brian Peer, from Western Illinois University's biology department, has started to put falcon-shaped stickers and dots on windows of the two buildings on the Moline campus. 

He says recently, the Journal Science reported North America has lost three billion birds over the past 50 years. 

"It's stunning, it's shocking, that study took us by surprise, professional ornithologists. What the general public should realize there's something going on in the environment that's wreaking havoc on bird populations."

While his stickers may stop birds from flying into WIU's windows, Peer is doing research to find the best solution. For example, the falcon decal doesn't work all the time. So placing many dots on windows may help birds see windows and not fly into them. 

Peer says pesticides also kill birds, along with window strikes.   

"Cats are another major problem. Cats are not native to North America, our house cats. They cause tremendous amounts of losses to birds each year. The cats really belong inside." 

Other studies show 500 million to 1 billion birds die each year due to changes in habitat. Peer says if people want to help, they should re-evaluate pesticide use in yards and gardens, and learn about other ways to protect birds and their habitats.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.