NYC set to require ‘bird-friendly’ glass on new construction

New York City lawmakers are poised to adopt legislation requiring “bird-friendly” glass on all new construction in an effort to cut down on the tens of thousands of birds who die flying into the city’s buildings every year. New York will be the largest city in the nation to require glass that is visible to birds if the measure passes. Several California cities including San Francisco and Oakland have adopted similar rules. Groups that monitor bird populations said they are thrilled at the prospect of the legislation’s adoption in New York City. “Long term this stands to have a significant impact on the birds that live in and are passing through our city,” Chris Allieri, a board member of the Wild Bird Fund, said Saturday. “I think it will significantly reduce the number of window collisions for birds in newly constructed buildings.” New York City Audubon estimates that 90,000 to 230,000 birds from hawks to hummingbirds are killed every year from flying into New York City buildings. The legislation proposed by Democratic City Council member Rafael Espinal would require that at least 90% of the exterior of the first 75 feet of all new buildings or major renovations be constructed with materials that are visible to birds, such as glass with a glazing or pattern. An example of a bird-friendly building is the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s west side, where glass imprinted with patterns that was installed during a 2015 renovation reduced bird deaths by 90%, according to NYC Audubon.–DT

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