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Bird–skyscraper collisions are a problem in urban areas. Several major cities like Toronto in Canada and New York City in the United States have programs to abate this, such as Toronto's Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) and New York City's Lights Out New York, a program of New York City Audubon an environmental organization. According to FLAP, between one and nine million birds die each year in the city from hitting skyscrapers due to mistaking reflective windows for open sky, or being drawn to lights at night.
Governments of Canada and the United States have recently introduced legislation to make new and existing buildings bird friendly. Examples include Toronto's Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines that requires new buildings to be bird friendly, and Chicago's Design Guide For Bird-Safe Buildings New Construction And Renovation. On the Federal level the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2011 calls for each public building constructed, acquired, or altered by the General Services Administration (GSA) to incorporate bird-safe building materials and design features. The legislation would require GSA to take similar actions on existing buildings, where practicable.
In New York City, where an estimated 230,000 birds collide with buildings each year, New York's Bird Friendly-Buildings Act required new and existing building be bird friendly effective Jan 1, 2012. In December 2019, a bill passed mandating that the lowest 75 feet of new buildings, and structures above a green roof, must use materials such as patterned glass which are visible to flying birds. Compliance with these new standards will also be required for building renovations beginning in December 2020.
Recent developments in legislation necessitate architects and property managers to take mitigating measures to combat the bird collision issue. There are a variety of different solutions including special window film,[unreliable source?] specialized glass, decals, screens and external shutters. Some of these solutions have been proven to significantly reduce bird collisions with buildings, but others are unproven, and require more testing to prove the claims made.
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- "S4204-2011 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Enacts the "bird-friendly buildings act" to require use of bird-friendly building materials and design features in buildings - New York State Senate". M.nysenate.gov. Archived from the original on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- Poon, Linda (December 13, 2019). "NYC Is Making Its Buildings Bird-Friendly". CityLab. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
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- Fatal Light Awareness Program
- Lights Out New York
- Acopian Center for Ornithology
- Instructions to make your own Acopian BirdSavers to prevent birds from flying into windows - tested by Muhlenburg College's Center for Ornithology
- Bird-friendly Design, American Bird Conservancy
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