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Birds flying through New York City.

Posted January 22nd 2020

New York City’s Bird-Friendly Legislation Marks Long-term Conservation Efforts

“As a whole community, we must do better for the future, better for the sustainability of urban living, and better for the health of both birds and people”

Kathryn Heintz, NYC Audubon Executive Director

 

Fellow bird-conservationists, experts, enthusiasts, and civilians have reason to rejoice with another positive step toward saving birds from window collisions. On December 10, 2019, the New York City Council approved proposed initiative 1482B. This new policy will be enacted to ensure that the city’s administrative and building codes are updated to include bird-friendly materials.

The council’s decision to focus on the safety of its bird population reflects New York’s status as part of the Atlantic Flyway, one of several migratory routes used by birds on their way south. Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of birds do not make it beyond New York, owing to the increasing number of bird collisions. Since skyscrapers, glass windows, and bright lights are not part of a bird’s natural habitat, migratory birds become disoriented by urban reflections and patterns, which increases the likelihood of window collisions. Even the birds that remain in the city during winter months are vulnerable to collision. Here at Feather Friendly®, we shudder to think of this devastating reality: hundreds of millions of birds, gone.

Luckily, thanks to the ongoing efforts of Audubon, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and countless other organizations, concerned politicians, and bird lovers, New York’s decision to pass initiative 1482B means that all five of New York’s boroughs must adhere to “bird-friendly” standards for any and all future construction projects (including renovations on existing buildings). These policies will effectively reduce bird-related injuries and fatalities by building structures with our feathered friends in mind.

The public passing of this legislation doesn’t just represent an alliance between businesses, organizations, and council, but recognizes the unique relationship that exists between humans and the natural world. The bill’s focus on birds emphasizes just how essential they are to our own survival. It’s also significant that New York, and many other states, provinces and towns, are advocating for wildlife, and making sure that we prevent bird-related deaths before they happen. Hopefully, we will continue to see additional legislations that benefit animal habitats and animal lives as frequently as we do human ones.

The Future of Bird Conservation is Clear . . .  Or Should it Be?

New York is known for its impressive skyscrapers and towers, like the glass-walled Time Warner Center, and the flashy, mesmerizing lights in Times Square. And while we might wonder whether New York would be New York without these glittering icons, we must consider how we can adapt these structures so they can be integrated into a bird’s environment.

Plus, it’s not just the tall buildings that are harmful; it’s all buildings. The ABC points out that advancements in glass technology have increased glass’ popularity among builders, architects, and homeowners. It’s more common than ever for houses, schools, and hospitals to expand the size and number of windows to increase the amount of natural light indoors.

So, what do we do with all the existing glass that’s out there? After all, a policy like New York’s only addresses future projects, so there’s still the challenge of making current structures bird-friendly: How can we do this in a way that is environmentally conscious and cost-effective, without compromising the window’s transparency? If you’re wondering how you can emulate New York’s policies, and keep birds safe, Feather Friendly® can help: we’re focused on making existing structures, well, ‘feather friendly’!

Our window markers with bird deterrent technology are designed to aid birds in “seeing” glass that would otherwise be invisible to them. Feather Friendly® offers several solutions for corporations and homeowners alike that are long-lasting and won’t obstruct your view to the outdoors.

Next Steps

Your conservation efforts don’t have to involve extensive building renovations or window re-designs. Feather Friendly® Bird Deterrent Technology has been used on projects all over the world. From Canada to South Korea, we’re proud to be a part of your bird conservation story.

As we move forward into 2020, let’s make that movement count. New York’s bird-friendly building legislation doesn’t just showcase current conservation practices but signals a lasting commitment to greatly reducing the risk of bird fatalities resulting from window collisions in North America.

Join our flock by contacting us for a quote on your commercial project or place an order for DIY tape.

We also invite you to browse our site to learn more about what you can do to help.

Partners

We are honoured to form partnerships with organizations who demonstrate
an ongoing commitment to bird conservation.

American Bird Conservancy FLAP Canada Audubon Association of Zoos and Aquariums