NYC Proposes Bird-Friendly Glass Law

In response to thousands of avian deaths, the city is now setting the standard for bird-friendly developments

A Golden-crowned Kinglet, among the birds most commonly killed by collisions with glass buildings – Photo by Snowmanradio –

(NEW YORK, NEW YORK)—A new bird-friendly law in New York would mandate that all-glass buildings have bird-friendly glass, AM New York reports. Any kind of glass with a light glazing or pattern visible to birds would qualify. New York will be the largest city in the country to adopt this kind of legislation.

The legislation is in response to reports of increased bird deaths in Manhattan—not just pigeons, which many Manhattanites might insensitively consider a time-a-dozen, but even more rare species like a red-tailed hawk, or an owl. New Yorkers often forget that for thousands of years before it was a giant city, Manhattan, too, was a viable site for hundreds of unique wildlife species, and it remains an important stopover for migrating birdseven today. Almost 90,000 to 230,000 birds die a year.

The biggest offenders include all-glass buildings like Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards, but wildlife expert Kaitlyn Perkins clarified for AM New York that any glass surface, even a small window, could pose a danger. Buildings near parks are especially dangerous, because the reflections trick birds into thinking they’re flying into the trees.

The generic, modernist glass buildings springing up around New York have come under fire earlier this year for their high energy costs. As part of his Green New Deal, De Blasio has proposed the banning of glass buildings altogether—or only under strict mandates enforcing environmental efficiency.

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