On December 10, 2019, the city council of NYC passed a bill that will aim to prevent the death of hundreds of thousands of birds flying through tall skyscrapers of the city each year.
According to statistics, yearly around 600 million birds die in the continent as a result of colliding with glass obstacles, with up to 230,000 birds in NYC only. The new bill, suggested by Brooklyn Council member Rafael Espinal, will make its entrance in December 2020, and will require all new buildings, redevelopments, or reconstructions to be constructed with special exterior materials that can be more easily seen by birds. Chriss Allieri, a board member of Wild Bird Fund, stated that the new bill will make an essential change into the life of birds that live and pass through NYC. (Matthews, 2019)
The legislation will add additional requirements to the existing building code and exteriors of new and redeveloped buildings. As most collisions happen in the first 75 feet of a building and on structures above a green roof, new exteriors or renovations here have to be made with avian-friendly materials, like patterned glass. The legislation does not require to make exterior changes to existing buildings.
In 2014, the renovation of a dangerous into a bird-friendly building already showed outstanding results. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which is located in Manhattan, was renovated with translucent glass and a green roof. According to NYC Audubon, the American Bird Conservancy, the original number of bird collisions was reduced by 90% in 2015. (Poon, 2019)