A staggering 261 dead birds were found surrounding New York's World Trade Center in a single morning.
Volunteer Melissa Breyer made the eerie discovery on Tuesday, September 14, as she completed her daily check for animals injured from flying into skyscrapers.
Bizarrely, bagging up winged corpses on September 14 took a lot longer than her average 6am to 8am patrol.
Melissa told Vice that her morning checks for NYC Audubon's Project Safe Flight, are to help birds migrate safely through the city.
Instead of finding the odd dead or wounded bird, she found hundreds lying lifeless on the pavement as they flew south for autumn.
Melissa said: "It was 6.15am when I got there, so the sun hadn't fully risen, but you could still see them: there were these dark little shadowy lumps of bird.
"It was like a scene out of a horror film."
She uploaded various posts on Twitter and wrote: "Some of the 226 dead birds I picked up this morning while window collision monitoring for @NYCAudubon.
"205 from @3NYWTC and @4WTC alone.
"Many others swept up, inaccessible, or too mangled to collect.
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"30 injured to @wildbirdfund.
"If you're in NYC today, be careful where you step."
Wildlife campaigners are urging all lights to be turned off overnight at the World Trade Center, LadBible reports.
An alternative proposal is for the buildings to be installed with decals – transfers or stickers applied to reflective surfaces to stop birds flying into them.
Kaitlyn Parkins, associate director of conservation and science at NYC Audubon, told the New York Post: "They can reduce night time lighting to help reduce light cause collision.
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"Or you can treat reflective glass so it looks solid to birds."
A spokeswoman for Silverstein Properties, which runs Four, Three and Seven World Trade Center, told the same publication: "We care deeply for wild birds and protecting their habitat in the five boroughs.
"Understanding that artificial night-time lighting in general can attract and disorient migrating birds, we are actively encouraging our office tenants to turn off their lights at night and lower their blinds wherever possible, especially during the migratory season."
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A spokesman for One World Trade Center says the tower was built with birds in mind.
They said: "The first 200 feet of One WTC are encased in glass fins that are non-reflective.
"This design was chosen because it greatly reduces bird strikes which mostly occur below 200 feet and are frequently caused by reflective glass."
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