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Quigley, Booker Reintroduce Bird Protection Legislation

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral Bird Safe Buildings Act. This cost-neutral legislation requires that each public building constructed, acquired, or significantly altered by the General Services Administration (GSA) incorporate bird-safe building materials and design features, to the maximum extent possible. Quigley first introduced this bill in 2010 in the 111th Congress.

“Almost one third of American bird species are currently endangered and fatal collisions with built infrastructure is a significant cause. We have a responsibility to prevent as many of these deaths as possible. As more and more cities across the country, including Chicago and just this week Philadelphia, adopt policies and practices to prevent bird-building collisions, the federal government must step up and do its share. We can help set example for the country and the world and prove that bird-safe building design is cheap, easy, and effective,” said Congressman Quigley.

“The Bird-Safe Buildings Act would help reduce the number of bird collisions with buildings, a problem with significant consequences for bird populations and the environment at large. It encourages changes to the design of newly constructed or renovated public buildings that will have minimal impact on the budget but considerable benefits for birds and the ecosystems in which they exist,” said Congressman Griffith.

"Over the course of the last 50 years we have seen a tragic decline of more than 25 percent of birds in North America with climate change, habitat loss, and deforestation acting as the leading drivers," said Senator Booker. "With the Federal Bird Safe Buildings Act we have an opportunity to prevent a substantial number of unnecessary bird deaths by incorporating low cost bird-safe building materials and design features into our federal buildings."

Building collisions lead to up to one billion bird deaths every year. The Bird Safe Buildings Act would permanently reduce bird deaths for little to no cost by requiring that any new or significantly altered buildings incorporate bird-friendly designs. By making this simple change, this legislation will protect endangered birds from dying preventable deaths.

The Bird Safe Buildings Act is endorsed by the Animal Welfare Institute, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and U.S. Green Building Council.

“Last Congress, the House passed the Bird-Safe Buildings Act twice under the leadership of Rep. Quigley. Reintroduction of this bipartisan bill is needed recognition that bird mortality from building collisions, estimated at up to 1 billion per year in the U.S. alone, is a serious contributor to bird population declines, “ said Dr. Christine Sheppard, Director of the Glass Collisions Program at American Bird Conservancy. “This commonsense measure would direct federal buildings to incorporate bird-safe design and materials, reducing collisions and potentially saving the lives of millions of birds.”

“As Congress and the administration look to make significant investments in our nation’s infrastructure, legislation like the Bird-Safe Buildings Act is essential to demonstrate how we can truly build back better,” said John Rowden, senior director of Bird-Friendly Communities at the National Audubon Society. “We have lost 3 billion birds in North America in the last 50 years and must do more to bring birds back. This bill is a great step to implementing the changes needed to save the up to one billion birds killed every year by crashing into buildings. Bright lights and untreated glass on buildings big and small can prove fatal to birds and incorporating bird-friendly design not only reduces collision deaths, but can increase energy efficiency, all at little to no extra cost.”