Skip to content
CityLab
Environment

Green Roofs Are Saving Birds and Hatching Bird-Watchers

When landscape architects attract flocks to urban centers, city dwellers are keen to look up.
relates to Green Roofs Are Saving Birds and Hatching Bird-Watchers
Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Urban development hasn’t always accommodated birds. Window collisions due to reflective glass and bright lights have hurt migrating bird populations wherever there are skyscrapers, with the American Bird Conservancy estimating that each year, up to a billion birds die via collisions in the U.S. alone.

An overnight storm this past March left 395 warblers and orioles dead outside the 23-story One Moody Plaza in Galveston, Texas. The skyscraper is among the tallest in the area, and while it’s not wrapped in bird-unfriendly, floor-to-ceiling glass, a combination of lightning, building lights, and corner windows still disoriented the migrating birds into colliding with the structure.