Posts Tagged ‘birds’

I was admiring the artistic way these rafter tails wrap around the corner at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley when I noticed the dark sky protection measures they implemented very economically with cut off black plastic waste bins. (and look at that black sky!) I recently updated my education on dark sky protection. I already knew that bright exterior lights are annoying to neighbors and that it would be nicer to see more stars at night, but I learned a few more reasons to avoid light pollution. So many nocturnal animals have their normal patterns disrupted by bright night time lights. Birds and insects in particular. I have a new love for curtains on windows to keep the interior lights from lighting up the outdoors. I had considered curtains mainly for privacy and keeping the sunshine out, but hadn’t worried about all the light that can spill out of a house when lights are on at night. Because LED lights use so little electricity the Earth’s light pollution problem is getting worse. It doesn’t cost very much to leave exterior lights on all night and this sometimes seems simpler than fancy lighting controls. Now I will be thinking of the nocturnal creatures as I plan my architectural lighting.

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The city of San Francisco is close to passing new regulations for new or modified buildings to reduce danger to birds. This document outlines the hazards and some solutions.

The most dangerous buildings are those next to lush parks with a lot of windows facing the park.  It might seem like a hard sell to eliminate windows facing parks for the sake of a few birds, but the solutions are things like screens and external shading devices…and less glass….which are all good things for many other reasons.

It is also important to reduce light pollution because this can disorient birds flying at night. Less light pollution is also a good general practice.

Read more about the San Francisco Planning Department’s Progress on the issue here.

The New York Times published an article on this topic today.

I once had a dove crash into my living room window. The neighbor saw the incident and claims that the dove was being chased by a hawk.  It was very sad to find the little bird dead on the window sill.

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It is often a challenge to think of good solutions for a problematic design puzzle on a tight budget.

Like modern art!

Its not in the budget to underground the utility lines, so the plan is to install birdfeeders…..and with any luck the mess of wires will fill with birds of all sorts.

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