San Francisco to Protect Birds from Flying into Buildings

Unless you're part of a small cadre of environmental activists, the danger posed to birds by high-rise buildings is probably not an issue in the forefront of your mind. Unless, of course, you are a member of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, which just saw fit to pass a new set of development regulations intended to make our avian neighbors' flight paths through downtown a little less life-threatening.

Now, don't snicker, folks: Studies indicate that this is, in fact, a problem. As the new policy drafted by the city's Planning Department states, “Over 30 years of research has documented that buildings and windows are the top killer of wild birds in North America … Structure collision fatalities may account for between 100 million and 1 billion birds killed annually.” That wide range might seem like a wildly speculative statistic, but do you, San Franciscan, want the blood of those birds on your hands?

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