Beechwood Farms program offers ways to protect birds
There's a lot to consider when designing a new home, from windows and doors to chimneys and more.
Probably not too much weight is given to how the choices affect the wildlife nearby.
Bird enthusiasts at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel are hoping to change that.
Residents can attend a workshop next week to learn how to make homes and offices more bird-friendly.
“Birds fly into windows all the time and it's becoming more of a problem,” said Rachel Handel, Beechwood Farms spokeswoman. “We have experts working to find solutions that allow people and birds to co-exist better and more safely.”
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, headquartered at Beechwood, will host a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 to offer tips on removing bird threats. Specifically, innovations in bird-safe glass will be the topic. The free program will be at the Beechwood complex along Dorseyville Road in Fox Chapel.
“Advances in Bird-Friendly Building Design” is hosted by American Bird Conservancy Bird Collision Campaign Manager Dr. Christine Sheppard.
It is part of an initiative launched this fall, “Audubon@Work,” aimed at helping homeowners, developers and architects to make buildings a place where people and birds can thrive.
“Birds face significant threats in our ever-growing urbanized landscape,” said Audubon Development Associate Chris Kubiak, adding that a substantial number of birds die each year because of collisions with man-made structures.
“Studies have suggested a range of 100 million to 1 billion birds being killed overall in the U.S. each year,” Kubiak said, citing other contributors such as loss of habitat, pollution and predators.
Humans can do their part in reducing that number, Kubiak said.
There are two primary threats — glass and light pollution — that can be considered.
Glass can be invisible to birds so the type of glass used and the location of trees and vegetation is important.
“Courtyards and open pathways can be death traps, especially if they are heavily planted,” Kubiak said. “Reflective glass is often used to make a building blend into an area by mirroring its surroundings. If trees are planted nearby, they look as though they are unobstructed pathways in which to fly, which often leads to fatal collisions.”
Handel said another leading cause of bird mortality is excessive light pollution and poorly-sited lighting. Birds are drawn at night to the glow of overnight lights, she said.
“They often flutter around until they drop from exhaustion or collide with the buildings,” Handel said.
Handel encourages residents to attend the workshop to learn more about steps being taken to remedy bird issues. She said many people are interested in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction, which now incorporates bird-friendly architecture into its guidelines.
To register, call 412-963-6100.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fox Chapel Area receives grant; seeks partner school to mentor
- Hartwood Fest to raise money to repair stables, organ
- RIDC trail plan takes step forward
- Volunteers gear up for Heritage Day in Sharpsburg
- Wolves return a Sharpsburg success story
- Animal Friends suggests trap, release program for Sharpsburg stray cats
- Fox Chapel Area homecoming to feature football, carnival, tight parking
- Sharpsburg fills board vacancies
- Waterplant upgrades get Sharpsburg Council OK