Audubon Society says glassy new Vikings stadium will needlessly kill birds

Categories: Animals, Vikings
Thumbnail image for VikingsStadiumNewRect.jpg
The Audubon Society says birds from about half of Minnesota's 250 breeding bird species regularly die from flying into glass buildings.
The Minnesota Audubon Society wants the Vikings and/or the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority to spend between $400,000 and roughly $1 million on a glaze that would help birds steer clear of the glassy new Vikings stadium.

But talks recently broke down, so now the Audubon Society is taking its case to the public.

See also:
Vikings unveil stadium design: Top 10 tweets

Yesterday, the Audubon Society distributed a press release entitled, "New Minnesota Vikings Stadium Threatens Minnesota's Birds."

"Despite state guidelines requiring bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions, the Vikings and the MSFA last week rejected calls to use safer types of glass that could help prevent birds from fatally colliding with the stadium's huge glass windows as the birds migrate along the Mississippi River corridor each year," the release says. "According to scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Institution, up to 988 million birds are killed annually in the United States by collisions with buildings, especially glass windows. The new Vikings stadium will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of glass."

Later in the day, we asked Mark Martell, director of bird conservation for Audubon Minnesota, if there's anything particularly problematic about the design of the Vikings stadium. After all, many of Minneapolis's skyscrapers are encased in glass, right?

"I don't know that [the stadium] is more problematic, but we've been monitoring routes through downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul for six or seven years now, and those monitoring efforts have turned up 125 different species that have died from collisions with those windows," he replies. "Once a building is up, we work with them to turn lights off at night and do other things that reduce collisions, but it's rare that you get an opportunity on the design ground floor like we have with the Vikings here. We're talking about a lot of glass -- 200,000 square feet -- and we can take steps right from the beginning."

Martell says the glaze he wants builders to install on the stadium's exterior would "decrease the likelihood of birds flying into [the stadium] because birds can see it" without affecting aesthetics.

"Birds can't see glass in the same way we do," he adds. "Depending on how much of the surface was treated, we think [the cost] could be as low as $400,000, and you're talking about a building that's coming in at $1 billion."

But, as the release details, stadium developers recently canceled a meeting with Audubon officials, and Audubon staff were told on July 17 that developers won't pay for the glaze.

(For more, click to page two.)



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
68 comments
Joseph Finley
Joseph Finley

So why are you wasting your time commenting!!?

Lee Roy Williams
Lee Roy Williams

What about all the other glass buildings in the twin cities ?

Charles D. Rhoden III
Charles D. Rhoden III

They need to kibosh the eyesore of a stadium. Then bird lovers might want to address the other big killer of birds - windmills.

Eva Chavarria Hunter
Eva Chavarria Hunter

"This building is being funded with an awful lot of public money -- a pretty significant portion of the building's cost is public money -- and it's being used to put up a building that in our opinion is going ot kill a lot of birds," he says. "We want people to let the [MSFA] know that's not how they want public money spent." The profiteering developers need to pay for the tab to correct this now and not allow this to land on the taxpayers lap later on!!!!!!

Adam Garlie
Adam Garlie

This is not really news...birds are dumb.

Sara Schieve
Sara Schieve

Photo makes it look like the new stadium will be in some sort of wooded meadow. How many dead birds do we have all ready with all the glass skyscrapers?

Nicole Wagner
Nicole Wagner

Should have told the people at the University this also when they were designing the Cardiovascular and Cancer Research Building...

Milhouse VanGabb
Milhouse VanGabb

You've got to be shitting me.... This one of the dumbest things I've heard in a while. Find something more important to cry about hippies.

Mackenzie Denny
Mackenzie Denny

People are dying of everything all over everywhere and everyone else is everywhere doing everything.

Joe Petrie
Joe Petrie

Aren't these the same people that kill wind farms and support climate change.

Mc'Real Dtj
Mc'Real Dtj

shut the fuck up already, no stupid birds are going to hit it and if they do, good. all the bums downtown have dinner

Samuel Thomas Kooy
Samuel Thomas Kooy

CTE is going to kill a number of the athletes on the field anyway, so it's almost like this game is silly and only brings out the worst in people.

Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

I really don't get why the Vikings organization blew this one off. They could win some major brownie points with the public with very little effort on their part! The glass wouldn't necessarily need to be changed, but having some kind of reflective material on it that doesn't ruin the the look should be doable.

Paul Gerst
Paul Gerst

It wouldn't have to be "needlessly" if they'd simply add a catch-net which fed down to a little food booth called "Tweety Grill" or "Birdie Satays." Seriously, there has to be something "simple" to address this. Get some purple and gold pin-wheels to spin around and divert them away.

Brian Oss
Brian Oss

Two ideas: -Donate $1 to Audubon for each dead bird. -Use the feathers to make pillows for families in need. Just made lemonade with your lemons. Boom.

Eric TheCapn
Eric TheCapn

The Vikings found a new way to KILLLLLL... ...and save money by skipping the farm for the stadium's chicken fingers.

Bradley Robert Jensen
Bradley Robert Jensen

Do you have any idea how much money the NFL donates every year. Multi multi millions. Spending money on a stadium has nothing to do with hungers grasp on the world. 1000s of jobs are created by building said buildings

Mike Kortum
Mike Kortum

People are dying from starvation all over the world, and we are spending $1 billion on a building to play a game inside of.

Dave Eckblad
Dave Eckblad

You guys know this was already addressed over a year ago and won't be an issue, right?

Jill Werner
Jill Werner

Whatever. Give me a fking break. Birds fly into my sliding glass doors all the time. Is the state going to require me to buy bird safe doors now? This is so stupid and so is everyone that had any involvement in this article. Waste of my time.

Greg Overall
Greg Overall

Stephen - I think the glass is what makes the new stadium different from the power plant. I took a look at a picture of the plant and they are very different buildings.

Jason Swan
Jason Swan

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against birds. I consider myself a conservationist, I hunt, I fish, I support the DNR, the bwca, I see evidence of poaching every time I enter the woods and it infuriates me, I help turtles cross the road etc etc.. But sometimes you have to act on your own accord and reach into your own pocketbook if you wish to see change, and not expect everyone else to pay to protect your hurt feelings.

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

I think it is important enough for the right people that are building this stadium to make sure they employ the same methods. But I don't know where and who or what number to call.

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

Relax, there are methods that are safe and non toxic that can keep birds away from the building. They employ these methods at the nuclear plant in Monticello.

Joe Biezuns
Joe Biezuns

deep fried birds on a stick? Hot bird in a bun? Birdburger? Birdzza? Buffalo Wild Bird? endless options!

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

there are non toxic methods in keeping birds away from getting inside the stadium.

Cindy Petree
Cindy Petree

Have the vikings fix it,no more taxing us

Jason Swan
Jason Swan

Yes Greg, I'm a "textbook closet case self-loather".

Andrew Dale
Andrew Dale

Is this post a joke? Stop wasting my Facebook timeline time with these stupid posts.

Greg Overall
Greg Overall

Why do you hate birds Jason? Is it the last name thing? ;-)

Greg Overall
Greg Overall

I really don't want to see this turn into some kind of Vikings fans versus Nature enthusiasts fight. There are some of us that are both. This is really about a building with a massive glass facade being in a major migratory flyway. It doesn't matter whose building it is.

Jason Swan
Jason Swan

Who in the community isn't already aware of the consequences of birds and glass?

Fran Kennedy
Fran Kennedy

I don't think they are playing the victim here. I think they are trying to bring awareness to the community about the detrimental effects of this glass.

Fran Kennedy
Fran Kennedy

I like that you bridge the gap. I haven't encountered any comments like this yet! Way to be well-balanced in your views!! :)

Geoffrey L. Groves
Geoffrey L. Groves

Makes a large facing of the last change color that would not attract birds like some type of freak reflection. As long as its not a large worm

Kyle Amundson
Kyle Amundson

...or make them evolve into brilliant super birds!

Misty Griggs
Misty Griggs

Who makes a building with that much glass in a town that gets tornadoes?! Just saying!

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...