Re “City spins idea for wind rotors atop buildings” (news article, Feb. 23); and “The answer isn’t blowin’ in the wind, not at C.B. 2” (news article, March 1):
The possibility of wind turbines being installed anywhere in Manhattan is alarming. While many municipalities are doing what they can to minimize dangers and help birds safely navigate a high-rise city, it appears that the New York City Planning Department does not believe that nature exists here – or, if there is money to be made, doesn’t care. In fact, Manhattan Island, especially along the rivers, is a flight path for migrating birds and the monarch butterfly.
The addition of tall buildings along the waterfront is a crime against nature as the buildings significantly add to bird mortality. For example, during the day, reflections from the buildings’ shiny surfaces blind birds, or the birds, instead of seeing the building, see the sky and clouds reflected on it. At night, especially when there is fog, indoor lights confuse birds into interpreting the lights as pathways through tree branches. Birds then fly directly to the light and crash into the building. New York City Audubon, which began its “Lights Out NY” campaign in 2005, estimates that “90,000 birds die in collisions with buildings here each year.”
Not only do we not need to build any more tall buildings in our neighborhood, the addition of wind turbines on rooftops, reaching stories into the sky, along this migratory flight path would be a cruel step in the wrong direction. While it’s wonderful for buildings to become more green, and even as wind turbines have been improved so as to lower the mortality rate of birds, we need new standards to make buildings safer for birds.
City households, to help prevent needless bird deaths, can draw their drapes in the evening (especially during migration times – spring migration is starting now), not put trees inside a glass wall or window and use fritting (placing designs, frosting, etc. on glass). For more information go to flap.org/ .
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