Cities Aims to Protect Birds from Buildings

  March 29, 2021

By Dan Hounsell

Birds and buildings generally don’t make a good combination. In some cases, birds create problems for buildings and inhabitants, from droppings on rooftop HVAC units to being nuisances to occupants. In other cases, though, the combination can turn deadly as buildings become hazards for birds — and the results can be deadly. 

In Philadelphia, lights will dim in the coming weeks as a coalition of interested parties tries to prevent millions of migrating birds from slamming into skyscrapers, according to Fox 42 KPTM. Bird Safe Philly announced the voluntary program in which as many external and internal lights in buildings are turned off or dimmed at night during the spring and fall.

In Fort Worth, the skyline will be dimmed every night through May 31 from midnight to 6 a.m., according to CBS DFW. Laura Bird, president of Anthracite Realty Partners LLC, Frost Tower in downtown Fort Worth, says light pollution causes the habitat loss that affects our bird populations, adding that Texas and Fort Worth are fortunate to be located right in the center of the flyway for migration.

Birds navigate during migration using celestial cues, and when they cannot see stars on a cloudy night, they get confused by bright city lights, according to experts. Windows pose a problem because birds might see a reflection of trees or the sky.

Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.


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