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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

If the Romans had burned fossil fuel ....

If the Romans had burned fossil fuel from tne rise of that empire to its fall, the world as we know it would not exist.

Bird-friendly glass in New York City


The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats. It contains several brief and interesting reports on bird sightings, behavior, and concerns.


You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):





The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan, has undergone a five-year renovation, that includes glass panels imprinted with tiny patterns that have reduced bird collisions and deaths by 90 percent. Additionally, the building's new green roof - the second-largest green roof on a single, free-standing building in the U.S. - has attracted many bird species as well as five species of bats.


The new glass panels, covered with tiny dots, or "fritting," were the final choice after considering 15 eco-friendly alternatives. The choice to use glass paneling sprinkled with small white dots is because apparently the dots are more easily seen by flying birds than they are by people. This feature can also naturally cool the building and, with other improvements, the energy consumption has been reduced by a reported 26 percent.


The green roof also captures rainwater, helping to deter the potential discharge of 6.8 million gallons of runoff per year into NYC waterways. The roof also apparently moderates air temperatures being drawn into the rooftop HVAC units and helps reduce temperature extremes inside the building. Beyond the songbirds that visit the roof "habitat," Herring Gulls have nested there. Last year there were six nests; this year there were 12. (Oh, yes, Canada Geese nest on the roof, too.)

New York City Audubon has even located two American Kestrel nesting boxes on the roof, along with mounting an ultrasonic acoustic recording unit, a specialized microphone, to detect bat sounds. Since this installation, five of the nine possible bat species found in New York have been recorded over the Javits Center roof. There are also three bee hives on the roof.


The building's renovation was undertaken by FXFowle Architects, whose principal, Bruce S. Fowle, is a bird enthusiast. His wife, Marcia T. Fowle, also sits on the board at New York City Audubon.


Mr. Fowle said that the New York State owners did not necessarily want to spend extra money simply for bird protection. But the same creative features that made the building more economical and environmentally sound had the added bonus of being bird-and-nature friendly.


You can read more on the project, with an emphasis on the roof, here:





In early September, U.S. District Court of Alaska Judge H. Russel Holland upheld U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's decision to not build a gravel road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. This has been an ongoing issue.


The threatened road would have cut through a federally designated Wilderness Area, risking hundreds of thousands of "Pacific" Brant, Emperor Geese, swans and other migratory birds that rely on this refuge, as well as other wildlife living there.




Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are regularly injured or killed annually in fisheries around the world. A creative website presented by the American Bird Conservancy now puts a wealth of information helpful in reducing bycatch right at the fingertips of those who need it most - fishermen, conservationists, and those promoting fishery sustainability.


Intended to help fishing operations determine what seabirds may be at risk in different geographic areas of interest, the tool, "Seabird Maps & Information for Fisheries," also has broad appeal to anyone involved in fisheries improvement programs, seabird conservation, and marine spatial planning.


Those with these interests can start here:


Additionally individuals and concerned organizations can view a two-minute introductory video, "Putting Seabirds on the Map: Seabird Maps & Information for Fisheries":





On the odd chance that you missed the news last month, the USFWS announced that the Greater Sage-Grouse need not be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), that such coverage is "not warranted."


Much of the decision rested on the record of recent cooperation among federal agencies, states, ranchers, industry, and environmental groups to make such a listing unnecessary. These forces point to the evidence that conservation and restoration of the species has already begun or is on its way.


Depending on whom you ask among conservationists, the sweeping cooperation in this effort to save the Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitat is either proving more positive every day, or else with the absence of an ESA listing it can mean that current conservation plans will now lose steam.





You can access all the past E-bulletins on the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) website: 


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