As much as is made of wind turbines being a threat to birds, they don't even come close to the biggest manmade killer of birds: buildings. Highly reflective window glass claims as many as one billion birds a year in North America, while city lights at night can cause migratory birds to become disoriented, often leading to their death.
San Francisco officials are hoping to help protect the 400 different species of birds that inhabit their city by introducing a new law called Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings.
The standards are mainly voluntary, but new buildings, additions and retrofits, buildings near urban bird refuges, as well as structures like freestanding clear glass walls, skywalks, rooftop greenhouses and enclosed balconies do have to comply with some mandatory rules.
To make these buildings and structures bird-safe, owners can place netting in front of windows or place ceramic lines or dots on glass to cut down on their reflectivity, while preserving the ability to see out. To keep from confusing migrating birds at night, buildings will also have to observe lights-out ordinances during the migratory season.
via NY Times
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