NYC Condo’s Glass Facade Is Killing Migratory Birds by the Dozen

by Tia Bailey
Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Birds in New York City are meeting a devastating fate due to one building. The glass condo has inadvertently killed many birds that have flown into it.

The 11-story Circa Central Park is curved and made of glass. This has been confusing migratory birds, which fly directly into the glass and die on impact. In fact, the building was the cause of 28 bird deaths in one single day.

“They smash there, hit the glass, and fall anywhere from 10 to 40 feet down to the ground and suffer a double concussion,” Rita McMahon, the director of the Wild Bird Fund nonprofit, said. She added the dead birds were found “at the base of the building, so there’s no question what happened.”

Because of this, the building is one of the “worst offenders” for migratory bird deaths.

“The location and design of Circa make it particularly dangerous to birds,” Dr. Dustin Partridge, the Director of Conservation and Science at the New York City Audubon Society, said.

Every morning, volunteers for the organization collect the dead birds from the ground outside the building.

Residents and workers at the building have spoken out about the upsetting situation. A maintenance worker who lives in the building next door, Will Brand, shared a statement about it.

“I thought someone was shooting them down with a BB gun. I walked with my dog and there were eight of them lined up,” Brand said. “Terrible scene. Everybody [was] looking like what’s going on here? It looked like a tragedy happened.” 

The buildings curved structure makes it look like the reflections of trees are actual trees in front of them to the migratory birds.

New York City Building Fatal for Migratory Birds

“It’s definitely an egregious bird killing building. For how small it is and how new it is, it kills a disproportionate amount of birds from our perspective,” Catherine Quayle, social media director for the Wild Bird Fund, said to the New York Post. “It’s a big glass building right next to the biggest migrant path in the city so I think anyone could have predicted that it was going to be a huge hazard.”

Also, five birds were found by one person, a woman who works for a resident of the building, just this past Wednesday. The resident she works for has even added things to her balcony like window decals, but to no use.

“I personally had to pick them up and care for them. It’s sad and gross. I hate it… I’m always dreading it,” the worker shared.

Although there was a law passed in 2019 requiring new constructions to make bird-friendly buildings, it does not apply to buildings that already exist.