An estimated one million migratory birds are dying each year because they are colliding with buildings in the Greater Toronto Area alone. It’s a tragic case of our bright lights and big shiny buildings confusing these little creatures. But after years of prodding by the city and local advocates many building owners still aren’t willing to take the necessary steps to make their highrises bird safe. Last week we took action against a building owner/manager who we allege is not obeying the law, thereby causing the death or injury of hundreds of birds.
The fixes are simple – turn off the lights at night and put simple treatments on the windows that cut down on glare and allow birds to see them instead of fatally flying into them. Of course modifying the exterior of the bottom sixteen metres of a building (the section the birds collide with) will cost money, but it’s a small investment for a good cause. Think of homeowners who fence off their backyard pools to protect neighbourhood kids from accidentally drowning – it’s about safety, and it’s part of owning property.
Ecojustice lawyers will be heading to court on this issue today – that’s right, St. Patrick’s Day – so when you’re raising a pint, think of those pint-sized travelers on their way north, and how we can help them have a safer journey through the city.