Why cities should be designed for birds

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Sometimes it seems like cities were designed to kill birds. Take for instance the single night in October when more than 1,000 birds were killed when they collided with buildings in the city of Philadelphia. Due to a combination of confusing reflections from building windows, disorienting light pollution, and the location of tall buildings in the direct flight paths and habitats of many birds, deadly collisions—sometimes in mass numbers—are depressingly common. Researchers estimate that collisions with buildings cause up to one billion bird deaths in the United States every year.

It doesn’t have to be this way, according to a new book, The Bird-Friendly City: Creating Safe Urban Habitats, by Timothy Beatley. Citing new policies, building materials, and DIY designs, Beatley shows how urban environments can be tweaked to allow birds to live and thrive in human-centric spaces.

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