San Francisco Explores ‘Bird-Safe’ Building Standards

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Legislation in San Francisco designed to prevent birds from deadly accidents involving high-rise windows has passed a Board of Supervisors committee and will be presented to the full board.

Proponents of the “bird-safe” building standards told the board’s land use committee that clear glass window panes pose a hazard to migratory and local birds because they don’t necessarily recognize that glass is in their flight pattern, resulting in dead or injured birds upon impact.

The proposed legislation would require builders to install treated windows on any new construction determined to pose a great risk to birds.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“They’re fledgling for the first time, flying for the first time, they’re smashing into windows like crazy,” said Judy Irving, who cares for the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill. “It’s not just migratory birds.”

She spoke fondly of a parrot named Phoenix.

“We’ve been taking care of her for ten years now and will take care of her for the rest of her life because she has vision problems as a result of that crack with the glass wind break.”

Critics described the proposed regulations as costly and vague. “During a tenuous economic climate in a city that’s already very difficult to build in,” added architect Emily Bello.

Ultimately, the committee approved the “bird-safe” building standards, which were forwarded to the full board for consideration.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • LEL

    I’ve heard caves and lean-toes are “bird friendly”.

    • Jen06

      The migratory birds will glide safely past the San Francisco high rises only to be chopped to smithereens by the wind mills up on the Altamont Pass. You gotta love green!

      • White Cracker

        California is STUPID… Give me a friggin break!

    • sam8131

      Shut the city down and send them all to Iran!

    • RLABruce

      They won’t approve a cave for occupancy, and they won’t give you a permit to build a lean-to.

    • Charlie Darwin

      Its called eradicating the gene pool of morons, if a bird is stupid enough to fly into a building, then it doesn’t need to pass on its inferior genes………. Hmmph, maybe we need to enact bills that would ban idiots from breeding these Board of Supervisors.

      • Vina Sestonari

        “Its called eradicating the gene pool of morons”

        Thanks, Professor. I always thought it was called “survival of the fittest”.

        Now that Drudge has linked the story, here come 500+ posts saying the same thing. Basically 500 angry dudes seeing who can thump their chests the hardest, and see who can come up with the “wittiest” way of saying San Fran/California is nutty.

      • darryl

        Since you’re yig to come off with such an air of superiority Vina, I have to point out you didn’t need a comma after “thanks”….and yes, San Fran is full of left-wing, dumb-ass wackos.

      • speedstan

        Hey, Vina, you people in Frisco wouldn’t have to worry about 500+ people calling you nutcakes if your city didn’t keep making itself the laughingstock of the country by coming up with this stuff. Heck, even Leno and Letterman can’t make this stuff up…

      • Uncle-Grumpy

        Hear hear Vina! Not ALL of us got here from Drudge, some of us meandered in from the cross-post at HotAir. And not all of us make fun of “San Francicans”, although you must admit, many times you guys on the Left Coast seem to paint large targets on yourselves.

        (On a positive note, I do enjoy KDFC.)

        Watch the birdie!

  • Brian

    Really? I mean really? What won’t the People’s Republic of California think of next? I bet fish bump their widdle heads on the supports for bridges. You going to legislate hovering bridges next?

    • Bill Brennan

      Best comment ever!

      • Fishsnot

        The REALLY, REALLY BIG QUESTION… many freakin’ birds do we REALLY, REALLY need??????

      • Freedom Fighter

        Wouldn’t hovering bridges be a danger to birds? I think California should demolish its bridges to make sure no more birds and fish are needlessly placed in danger.

    • MSB

      Don’t give these lunatics any ideas.

  • Mr. Kelly

    How about we do this instead. Any new or different kind of bird deterant system that exists. Subtract the cost of how the builder was going to do it, then force the proponents of this bill to pay the difference. Everyone wins. Everyone gets what they want.

    • Andrew Brown

      EXCEPT the taxpayers who will eventually foot the bill. People forget, we’re the one who pay for all this crazy stuff!

  • Fist-pumpin'

    Liberals and the regulations. Just seems like such a contradiction.

    Thanks for your continued efforts to send job to other states.

  • The Cryptojournalist

    Innumerable buildings already have protective measures for birds (and to deter birds from perching) built into them…this is just the continuation of a trend.

    • Critical reader

      …and your sources to back up this statement are?
      Also, I suspect that our definitions of “innumerable” may not agree.

      I believe the bit on perching deterrence, but that is something entirely different from a mechanism by which a bird is prevented from colliding with a building. You can’t magically merge the statistics (or insinuate their equivalence) and claim that one is indicative of the other. My criticism is not intended to insult; it is merely intended to bring to light that which I believe to be misleading.

  • Joleen North

    How about bird safe windmills!!!

    • Andrew Buckles

      This was EXACTLY my thought. You can’t drive through the cali windmills without being amused by the dead birds. Do you think they are going to switch to bird-friendly nuclear?

      • Brian

        HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Hell would have to freeze over x1000 before they opt for something as vile as nuclear power.

  • WilliamPenn

    Every single day the People’s Republic of Pelosiville finds a way to make the rest of the world laugh uproariously with their insanity.

  • WilliamPenn

    Folks, this isn’t about birds at all. It’s about killing capitalism. It’s what communists do.

  • Ralph McGehee

    I wonder if they can pass a liberal safe building standard? Maybe having birds, monkeys, and other animals hanging out over the entrance, and every time a liberal attempted to enter the building, the birds and other animals would defecate all over them. Now that would be a building standard I could endorse.

    • brad


  • Bruce Almty

    How about allowing hunters to shoot the dumb birds in downtown SF? The city could tax them based on the number of kills. If you don’t have a gun, just ask the ATF, they give them away to Mexican drug gangs for free.

  • O_M_F_G

    I would think that liberals would be in favor of the obvious thinning of the flock and Darwinesque principles at work here.

  • Leslie

    How about a helmet law for birds?

    • Joe Blow

      Helmets would never work, but possibly tiny little airbags, and seat belts might be feasible.

    • Tweety


  • Bruce

    SF is a hole.

  • Steve Roberts

    Why don’t liberals just mandate the entire world be bubble wrapped and NOBODY does ANYTHING without submitting a plan (with application fee)for govt. approval. Come on libs, just do it. We know that is what you all really want because life is just too dangerous without your supervision.

    • Ralph McGehee

      Can’t do that. They’ve outlawed plastic grocery bags so they certainly won’t want to use all that plastic bubble wrap.

  • joel

    What about the windmills hacking eagles and other raptors apart? I guess a pigeon hitting an office window is more important.

  • T-man

    Well, what can one say? Not wrong to try to fix problems–but the religious liberal left always wants to hang new drapes in the ship’s lounge while the vessel has struck an iceberg and is taking on water!! Priorities are always confused. This is the city that deliberates banning plastic bags, water bottles, changing windows for birds but doesn’t have the moral or civil clarity to curb public nudity or enforce even an underwear code for eating in a restaurant for the unclothed. When you can’t tackle the real issues; there’s always pseudo-altruistic projects to self-justify, self congratulate. Just my opinion.

    • T-man

      Should read: ….but doesn’t have the moral or civil clarity to curb public nudity or enforce even an underwear code for the unclothed eating in a restaurant. (no edit button)

  • blacknblue2

    One more example that again supports my choice to flee from looney-ville was a very good idea.



  • tyrcook

    There are people in this city with bird brains, too.

  • Joe D

    Just put The Bushman on top of a building and he can scare the birds when they get too close.

  • Eric

    Idea, giant buildings in the shape of giant Owls!

    • poshspice


  • Common Sense is Dead

    These idiots prove once again that the cost of “feeeeeeling gooood” is not important. So now, every structure built will have an added price tag…which in turn is money NOT spent on jobs and/or other products, so some bleeding heart tree hugger can feeeeel goooood. Where does it stop?

  • SHG

    The libs will continue to regulate the actual taxpayers right out of the state, and then who will be left to pay for all thier social programs? Wake up libs, it’s a downward spiral.

  • flashman1854

    The SF Board of Supervisors, if they are really concerned about birds, should at least offer a letter of disagreement for all “wind farms’.

    You know those environmentally friendly alternate energy sources.

    These kill or maim thousands of birds, much more than fly into windows in SF.

    There are two immense wind farms that I know of in CA. One in N. Cal. not far from SF. (One in So. CA. not far from Palm Springs).

    Where is their outrage over this senseless slaughter of innocent birds?

    • Mad Mike

      Oh trust me, there is outrage. You have dueling liberals in the Altamont Pass; the animal rights liberals who are trying to shut the windmills down and the clean energy liberals who want them to keep running. This is why in Liberal Land nothing ever gets done, everyone has their own “cause” which is at odds with each other….

      • Randy

        They libs will eventually devour themselves

  • duh Man

    this coming from the city that has the Castro district. Man-devil sandwich anyone??

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