Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Victory For Local Environmentalists

One of the reasons I can never get too arsed about some of the environmental arguments against putting up wind turbines is that, basically, everything kills birds.  Any man-made structure with a window in it is likely to take out or two over the years.  And, of course, T.O. office towers kill lots and lots of the feathery buggers:

Toronto has long been viewed as one of the world’s most perilous cities for migratory birds. FLAP [The Fatal Light Awareness Programas estimated that up to nine million birds perish each year after crashing into tall buildings in Greater Toronto, and numerous others are injured.

So it is nice to see that, under threat of legal sanction, downtown developers are starting to take mitigating actions:

In a court judgment that seemed to please everyone, a major land developer and landlord accused of violating animal-welfare laws because countless migrating birds were killed or injured when they crashed into its reflective, glass-sheathed towers in Toronto was acquitted Monday on all charges.


But the company, Cadillac Fairview, has been diligent in rectifying the situation, the judge found, and the lawyer for the group that initiated the action was pleased with the outcome, calling it a landmark decision that will compel other building owners to take similar remedial action.


The solution Cadillac Fairview is currently implementing entails placing a film over top of the glass, as a kind of marker, so the birds can see there is an obstacle up ahead.

Of course, a stitch in time saves nine, and lawyer's fees, and the City of Toronto has a set of Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines that developers can put in place, some of which (changing how a building is illuminated at night, for example) can be implemented at a minimal cost. 

As for bird-proofing your house, especially the windows around any bird feeders, this might work.  And my family used to use strips of white tape on the inside of  our kitchen windows by the hummingbird feeders.  That too seemed to do the trick.

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