San Francisco Protects its Birds
San Francisco’s City Planning Commission is considering changes in building codes in order to ensure that birds do not injure themselves on hazardous structures, after USA-wide reports showed that buildings were responsible for at least a billion bird deaths across the country each year. A 40-page document was drawn up for approval, defining hazard zones for birds and laying out new planning standards such as glass treatment for new structures. The standards are aimed less at pigeons and sparrows, and more at songbirds and other migratory avians that make their way through The City on the Pacific Flyway, the major north-south route along the West Coast.
The main issue affecting birds is the transparency of glass buildings, leading the majority of them to fly directly into these buildings. The best solution is the frosting of the glass to make it less reflective. The local chapter of the Audubon Society fully supports the changes to building regulations in order to minimise bird deaths.