19 September 2011

Pending Building in Old Market Depicts Bird Hazards

A multi-use structure to be built in the Old Market area of Omaha includes the most prominent feature which is known to be hazardous to migrating birds.

Image from the architectural firm and used through the fair-use policy.

The multi-level brick building will feature an extensive glass facade on its lower level. This type of exterior wall is reflective and also does not provide an effective visual barrier for birds which do not see the glass. There is no indication that the glass to be used will be of a bird-safe type, such as fritted glass or ornilux.

An aspect not shown in the building's drawing is landscaping. This is one positive point as nearby or adjacent planting would attract birds and make the place more of a danger.

The Old Market does have a dearth of vegetation and thus the area has fewer known bird strikes. It also is not surveyed very often for this reason, so the true extent of occurrence is not known.

The construction of this building has not yet been approved by the Omaha City Council, and when this occurs, it is a perfect time to provide comments against it being built since it does not adhere to bird-safe guidelines.

This building was designed by the same architectural firm associated with another potentially dangerous building in North Downtown.

There are a variety of options to design a bird-safe building, yet this architectural firm continue to present structures which prominently feature dangerous glass. The firm's architects apparently do not consider how their designs are creating new dangers for migrant birds in the east Omaha area along the Missouri River.