Tenants at Harlem condo find solution to bird collision concerns

Kemberly Richardson Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Tenants help create bird-friendly windows at Harlem condo
Circa Central Park on West 110th Street, has become a death trap for birds that fly straight into the bright glass windows. Kemberly Richardson has the story.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Bright glass buildings in New York City have become death traps for birds that are killed by the impact of flying straight into the windows.

As a result, residents at a condo building in Harlem are stepping up to make their building safer for birds.

At Circa Central Park on West 110th Street there has been a problem ruffling peoples' feathers, like bird lover and Harlem resident Susan Shaw.

"When I realized they were hitting my windows, I put stickers all over my terrace windows, but they were stilling hitting windows above and the windows on the side," Shaw said.

The occurrences are like clockwork this time of the year and in the spring as birds migrate.

"Sometimes you look out the window and hundreds of birds are out here," Shaw said.

Her terrace and other areas outside of the building become the bird's final resting place.

"Birds can't see glass," said Jessica Wilson of New York City Audubon. "They aren't taught visual cues like humans. They are seeing reflections of sky, vegetation and water."

The bird thinks a reflection of a tree is the real deal, only to find out the hard way, that it is not the case. But now there is a solution.

Condo owners at the location worked with New York City Audubon, and now small translucent dots cover many windows.

Birds see the markings, which stop them in their tracks.

"It really has cut down and because the windows above me are all done, I'm not getting all these birds on my terrace," Shaw said.

Tenants are hoping others will follow suit. The Javits Center now has more bird friendly windows and NYU, years ago, installed a similar version of windows.

"Losing birds is bad for people, fewer birds means fewer plants, fewer insects, less nature," Wilson said.

Phase one of the project, which cost about $60,000, is almost finished. It's focused on windows overlooking the courtyard.

Everyone here will now monitor things and decide what phase two may look like.


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