Take Action: Protect Birds from Building Collisions
Did you know that as many as a billion birds die each year by colliding with buildings?1 Bird-safe buildings can make a difference.
Hundreds of millions of birds are at risk.
It’s a disturbing sight many of us have seen: A small bird flying full-speed towards a window or all-glass-walled building, only to crash with an audible thwack against a window and plummet to the ground.
You might think of glass buildings as architectural marvels, as beautiful reflectors of the sky and clouds livening up an otherwise drab urban scene. But it’s hard to think that way anymore once you know just how many birds die each year from colliding with buildings.
Bird-safe buildings can protect birds from death by collision.
Luckily, the Bird-Safe Buildings Act (H.R. 919) was recently introduced in Congress. It takes a practical first step for saving birds, by requiring all construction or revamping of federal buildings to use existing bird-friendly technology.
And, because it has bipartisan support, it has a realistic chance of getting passed — if our members of Congress give it a push.2
The Bird-Safe Buildings Act will make a difference, by requiring federal buildings to:
- Limit the amount of plain glass to 10 percent of the building’s first 40 feet, and 40 percent after that.
- Use patterned glass, which birds are better able to see and avoid.
- Reduce the amount of nighttime lighting, which throws off night-flying birds, by using automatic switch-offs and shielded lights.
Take action to make buildings safer and protect birds.
These inexpensive measures are proven to work. Boston’s all-glass Hancock Building (now called “200 Clarendon at Copley Square”) reduced fatalities simply by turning down their lights during peak migrations in the fall.3
Send a message to your U.S representative today in support of the Bird-Safe Buildings Act. You’ll help protect Golden-winged Warblers, Wood Thrushes, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons and other fast birds who don’t realize until too late that the enticing food or perch ahead is behind a thick plate of glass.
1. “Reducing Bird Collisions With Buildings and Building Glass Best Practices,”US Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Bird Management, January 2016 (updated July 2016).
2. Sydney Franklin, ”Congress may follow architects’ lead in constructing bird-safe buildings,” The Architects’ Newspaper, February 4, 2019.
3. Tim Logan, “As Boston adds glass towers, birds find more lethal obstacles,” The Boston Globe, March 15, 2018.