Migration Awareness 4

This morning Arthur and I are walking our Rescue & Recovery route to look for fallen injured or dead birds that have struck buildings in Chicago during the night and early morning. This is our seventh week volunteering for R&R this spring. During these weeks, I’d like to highlight migration topics by sharing a website or information about migratory birds.

Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley recently introduced HR 4797, a bill that calls for new government construction to incorporate bird-safe building practices. According to the American Bird Conservancy, the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2010 “will absolutely save the lives of millions of birds that mistake objects reflected in window glass, such as habitat and sky, as real.”

As of today the bill is in the first legislative steps. As of March 9th it has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. You can easily write to your U.S. Representative in Congress via this action link to let him or her know you support the bill.

Hermit Thrush, 4-2010, PA
Hermit Thrush, 4-2010, PA by Kelly Colgan Azar, on Flickr

In October 2009, Toronto became the first city to mandate bird-friendly building construction. The Toronto Green Standard legislation includes Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines (BFDG), “designed to eliminate migratory bird collisions with buildings both at night and in the daytime.” I would be thrilled if the U.S. government did the same and passed HR 4797.

If you’d like to learn more about bird-safe building practices, the New York Audubon Society has a comprehensive publication entitled Bird-Safe Building Guidelines. Several case studies are included to show practical examples of the guidelines at work in the real world.

Share the birds, share the love!
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