East Bay Times: Preventing birds from flying into glass buildings is aim of Alameda’ proposed law, November 21, 2018


Endangered California least terns have taken such a liking to the closed Alameda Naval Air Station — with hundreds gathering on its cracked runways every year — that the city wants to ensure its winged guests are safe by reducing hazards posed by buildings with lots of glass.

The birds sometimes become confused and fly into buildings.

“According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, over 365 million birds are killed in North America each year as a result of collisions with built structures,” Andrew Thomas, the city’s planning, building and transportation director, said in a report for the City Council. “Birds tend to collide with glass when the glass is either too reflective or too transparent because birds cannot recognize the glass as a solid object.”

On Tuesday, the council will consider adopting an ordinance to help keep the birds safe, including requirements for new buildings taller than 35 feet and made up of at least 50 percent glass.