Portland hopes to deter building-crashing birds
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
A Cedar Waxwing is one of the birds that Portland's Dan Saltzman hopes to protect with his bird-friendly design resolution.
Portland's City Council will examine crafting rules that would encourage more bird-friendly designs for the city's buildings.
The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, would push guidelines that, by addressing the use of reflective glass windows and artificial lighting, would protect migratory and native birds.
The Bird Conservation Network said 100 million birds are killed each year by flying into windows because they do not recognize glass as a barrier.
“Portlanders have such an affinity for nature and wildlife, and building design is one other place where we can have an impact,” Saltzman said. “Raising awareness is the first step.”
Saltzman worked on the resolution with the Audubon Society of Portland.
To be considered a bird-friendly building, at least 90 percent of the structure's exposed façade material, 40 feet above the ground, must be demonstrated to deter at least 70 percent
of bird collisions. It must also have no transparent passageways, corners, atria or courtyards that can attract or trap birds.
Outside lighting must also be appropriately shielded so that night-migrating songbirds aren't drawn to it.
Portland is home to 209 species of birds, one of four of which is experiencing significant long-term population declines. The city is on the Pacific Flyway, which extends from Alaska to South America.
Portland's North/Northeast Quadrant Plan calls for the use of bird and habitat-friendly building designs. Such cities as Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and New York have adopted various bird-friendly building guidelines.
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