Can birds dodge high-speed trains?
A Birds can learn to judge the speed of oncoming traffic and escape, but this gets harder when said traffic is moving at 300kph. Research on the Madrid-Albacete line of Spain’s highspeed AVE rail network has shown that the death-rate can reach 60 birds per km per year, which would extrapolate to some 200,000 deaths annually across the network. Speed is not the only problem. Infrastructure such as powerlines is attractive to perching birds, raising the suggestion that these could be designed to reduce casualties. We should also remember that some 27 million birds die each year on UK roads. Stuart Blackman
Spotless starlings: one species affected by fast trains.