Vikings stadium is killing 500 birds a year and has no intention of stopping

When the Minnesota Vikings‘ new stadium was under construction, there were concerns that its giant glass windows would lure unsuspecting birds to their deaths. So now that the place is open, has the bird carnage been realized? You betcha!

Over the course of the monitoring period, volunteers found 60 dead birds. Another 14 were discovered stunned, laying on the ground.

Among the casualties were 21 white-throated sparrows, nine ruby-throated hummingbirds, and one snow bunting, a.k.a., “snowflakes,” an uncommon sighting for bird-watchers like [dead-bird-counting volunteer Jim] Sharpsteen, who says he’s never seen anything like this in downtown Minneapolis.

The findings, along with reports from maintenance staff and security guards, estimate that perhaps as many as 500 birds die annually as a result of the building. Even if the actual number is half that estimate, it would still make the stadium the most lethal structure for birds anywhere in Minnesota.

And if that’s not enough, Minneapolis City Pages also includes lots and lots of dead bird photos:

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(Full report here, with even more bird snuff porn.)

Sharpsteen and other bird-lovers would like to see the Vikings add a coating to the glass so that birds no longer mistakenly fly into it and break their little necks; the Vikings are instead conducting a formal study that is expected to be complete in 2019. By which time, if the estimates above are correct, another thousand bird corpses will litter the ground around the stadium. I sincerely hope that City Pages tweets out photos of all of them, or maybe honors them with a memorial mural.


6 comments on “Vikings stadium is killing 500 birds a year and has no intention of stopping

  1. It was 500 birds every three years (Citypages is wrong – shocker) and its activist BS. Birds are smart. They’ll learn to avoid it. Just as fans will learn to avoid the torture chamber that is the 400 level concourse.

      • Ben is right. After the birds fly into it and break their necks once they will never do it again. There aren’t many guaranteed facts (much less guaranteed alternative facts) in the world, but that is one.

  2. Just paint a giant cat on the glass. That will scare the birds away. Of course it will also attract horny alley cats looking for some big time loving.

  3. This is clearly just a PR move to unsettle the Atlanta Falcons ahead of next year’s playoffs (ahahahaha. Mentioned playoffs and Vikings in the same sentence! Fail!).

    I am not in favour of killing birds, but I do wonder about the notion that this facility is the “biggest” bird killer in the state. Glass clad office buildings are believed (and who did the studies and how comprehensive they are very good questions to ask) to kill something like 1 billion songbirds a year in North America.

    None of this means that the state shouldn’t try to do something about buildings that look like the sky and fool birds into flying into them, but it seems unlikely that the reflective stadium exterior is significantly more likely to cause fatalities in the bird population than any other glass clad building of it’s size in any city.

    If only glass clad buildings killed politicians at the same rate they kill birds, this problem would correct itself in a few generations.

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