Quantcast

Mayor Signs into Law New Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings

Golden Gate Audubon Society

The Golden Gate Audubon Society hailed the signing into law of new Standards for Bird Safe Buildings by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee Oct. 11. The signing follows the unanimous approval of the bill by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors last month. The standards will greatly reduce bird deaths and injuries resulting from collisions with buildings in the city. They include sections on safer windows, night lighting and the construction of wind turbines in the urban environment.

“Bird deaths from building strikes, one of the main causes of bird mortality in the United States, can often be prevented with reasonable, affordable measures such as those described in these standards. The City of San Francisco’s Standards for Bird Safe Buildings constitutes a huge step forward in mitigating this problem in the bay area,” said Mark Welther, executive director of Golden Gate Audubon.

“Protecting and helping birds is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for the economy and the future of our environment. Birds are invaluable as controllers of crop insect pests, pollinators of plants, and seed distributors. They also generate tremendous economic revenues through the pastimes of bird feeding and birdwatching. We need to do what we can to protect them,” said Eric Mar, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ member who sponsored the legislation. 

Golden Gate Audubon Society worked with the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Collisions Campaign to help get the new standards passed into law. 

Reduction of bird strikes with new buildings can be achieved with simple and cost-effective means. For example, fritting—the placement of ceramic lines or dots on glass—is often already used to reduce air conditioning costs by lowering heat gain in windows. If fritting is applied in particular patterns, it increases the visibility of the window to birds and reduces the likelihood of impacts, while still permitting people to see out clearly from the inside of the building.

The guidelines also address the effects of light pollution, which can confound birds’ ability to navigate by the stars during migration. Lighted buildings and towers can draw birds off course and result in exhaustion, injury or death for millions every year. The guidelines will reduce unnecessary interior and exterior lighting during the bird migratory seasons, reducing risks to birds.

Bird-safe measures often have other benefits for building owners and operators. For example, fritting reduces heat gain through windows and decreases cooling costs. Turning off unnecessary lights can save owners and operators thousands of dollars a year while greatly reducing risks to birds.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bumblebees flying and pollinating a creeping thyme flower. emeliemaria / iStock / Getty Images

It pays to pollinate in Minnesota.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of icebergs on Arctic Ocean in Greenland. Explora_2005 / iStock / Getty Images

The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Sled dog teams pull researchers from the Danish Meteorological Institute through meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet in early June, 2019. Danish Meteorological Institute / Steffen M. Olsen

By Jon Queally

In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.

Read More Show Less
CAFOs often store animal waste in massive, open-air lagoons, like this one at Vanguard Farms in Chocowinity, North Carolina. Bacteria feeding on the animal waste turns the mixture a bright pink. picstever / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tia Schwab

It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.

Read More Show Less
Members of the NY Renews coalition gathered before New York lawmakers reached a deal on the Climate and Communities Protection Act. NYRenews / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
In this picture taken on June 4, an Indian boatman walks amid boats on the dried bed of a lake at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, on the eve of World Environment Day. Sam Panthaky / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.

Read More Show Less
A man carries a poster in New York City during the second annual nationwide March For Science on April 14, 2018. Kena Betancur / Getty Images

By Will J. Grant

In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.

People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.

Read More Show Less

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uranium, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less