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Bird-Safe Building Becoming A Priority For Bay Area Businesses

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This photo taken on January 23, 2011 shows wild ducks flying around a bird sanctuary in the town of Candaba, Pampanga province, north of Manila. The number of birds flying south to important wintering grounds in the Philippines has fallen sharply this year, with experts saying the dramatic demise of wetlands and hunting are to blame. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Bay Area businesses and bird lovers are teaming up to find a solution to a soaring problem, bird deaths at the hands of glass office buildings.

According to the American Bird Conservancy, at least 300 million birds die each year crashing into glass man-made structures. The Bay Area is a major landing spot for birds. The region sits along the Pacific Flyway, used by birds traveling between South America and Alaska.

A look at planned building projects in San Francisco indicates glass filled structures are a big part of the city’s future. So what is being done to protect the birds?

In 2011, San Francisco adopted bird safe building standards, and several other municipalities have followed. The San Francisco regulations certain concessions to be made for the animals based on features of the buildings or locations along a possible flight paths.

Now tech companies are jumping in with similar measures. The Silicon Valley Audubon Society points out that Menlo Park-based Facebook has committed to minimizing light pollution, removing feral cats and rodents and educating employees about the needs of birds as they expand their campuses.

“Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society works to promote natural settings, especially on large campuses, to improve quality of life and workplace for employees, communities, and the environment,” says the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.

KQED reports that Intuit, Apple and Google have been also been in talks to develop landscapes that create better habitats for birds.

“Intuit has this core value of owning your responsibilities,” Michael Gulasch of Mountain View-based Intuit told KQED. “We are part of this community, we need to be good citizens, it’s our responsibility to own the habitat concerns and wildlife concerns.

The Audubon society says they hope the successful integration of bird-friendly corporate campuses in the Bay Area will help similar practices spread across the globe.

 

 

 

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