Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Audubon has made a difference

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird conservation Updated: August 29, 2014 - 6:10 AM

Bird-friendly glass in the new Vikings’ stadium? Audubon Minnesota and Audubon’s national office have been working very hard to get that done. They are unlikely to win this battle, but they certainly have raised national awareness of the war on needless bird death.

They have put the issue on the map. Give them credit. 

The Vikings gave this effort wings even though team officials have said not a word. You can’t challenge a National Football League team without making news. The glass effort was reported in The New York Times,  Washington Post, USA Today, on CBS national news, on sports channels, in magazines serving the glass, construction, and architectural communities, and in local media.

A campaign to specifically address dangers posed to birds by the reflections found in ordinary window glass would not have earned as much national news coverage.

The issue, as you must know by now, is that ordinary window glass reflects the outside environment. Birds fly toward the reflections, hit the glass, and die in large numbers. There is a glass that contains a visible pattern, fritted glass, that is supposed to alert birds to the glass, and prevent collisions. This is the glass that Audubon wants for the stadium.

The Audubon Minnesota team Wednesday delivered to the office of Gov. Mark Dayton the names of 73,000 people supporting the effort. Audubon collected names via its local and national web sites. 

There had been no word from the governor on his thoughts about this.

Matt Anderson, executive director of Audubon Minnesota, said Thursday he still sees a narrow window of opportunity even now, after the stadium glass reportedly has been ordered.

Regardless, Audubon has done more for the bird/glass issue in the past few weeks than has been accomplished in years of trying to make people widely aware of the problem. 

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