Appeal to Make ‘The Star’ High-Rise Bird-Friendly

For Immediate Release:
July 7, 2022

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – With Los Angeles’ proposed glass-skinned, tubular office tower The Star currently under environmental review, PETA—with an office and more than 228,000 members and supporters in the city—and Los Angeles Audubon Society submitted a joint public comment this morning to Courtney Shum of the Department of City Planning, recommending that the structure’s Environmental Impact Report include an assessment of potential bird collisions with the building’s windows, a factor overlooked in the initial study.

“The Star’s proposed glass facade, bright lights, and sky gardens would prove more deadly than daring if birds collide at full speed into reflective glass that they can’t see as a barrier,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “PETA is calling on The Star’s builders to respect birds and spare their lives by incorporating animal-friendly design elements such as films, frits, and ultraviolent patterns, as other buildings have done.”

“The city of Los Angeles is currently proposing a bird-friendly glass requirement for new residential construction in nearby hillside and canyon areas, which we support,” adds Los Angeles Audubon Society President Travis Longcore. “Tall buildings such as The Star should be held to a similar standard and incorporate bird-friendly designs to protect birds who migrate to and through Los Angeles each year.”

PETA notes that collisions with buildings—and windows, in particular—are a leading source of bird mortality, killing up to a billion birds every year in the U.S. Los Angeles is an especially dangerous city for birds because it is located along a major migratory route and birds become disoriented at night by the city’s large, lighted buildings.

The group points out that in 2020, the Los Angeles Clippers made the glass panels on its new arena visible to birds by including a fritted finish—thin ceramic lines on glass that are visible to birds but virtually transparent to humans.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

The groups’ public comment to the city follows.

July 7, 2022

Courtney Shum
City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning

Re: The Star Project, Case No. ENV-2021-8030-EIR

Dear Ms. Shum:

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Los Angeles Audubon Society, I am writing to ensure that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for The Star Project includes an assessment of the building’s potential significant impact on bird-window collisions. Collisions with buildings kill up to a billion birds every year in the United States; tall buildings with bright lights and glass façades, like this proposed office tower, are a major cause.

The initial study addressed the impact this structure will have on nesting birds but overlooked birds flying into the building. Birds cannot see clear and reflective glass and will careen into windows at high speeds. Their hollow bones make them well-suited to flight but largely unable to survive such collisions. Studies attribute collisions with buildings, and windows in particular, as a leading bird mortality source. Migratory species are especially vulnerable, in part because they are attracted to, and disoriented by, large lighted buildings during their nocturnal migration. Los Angeles, located along a major migratory route, is the fourth most dangerous city for migrating birds in the spring. The Star Project raises particular concern in light of the conceptual rendering’s inclusion of greenspace on the building’s exterior that is reflected on the glass, and trees in the building’s interior that are visible through the glass structure.

To counter this devastating impact on birds, architects have developed innovative designs, including films, frits, and ultraviolet patterns, which can easily be added to glass windows. Among the many new constructions using bird-friendly designs, in 2020, the Los Angeles Clippers made the glass panels on its new arena visible to birds by including a fritted finish—thin ceramic lines on glass that are visible to birds but virtually transparent to humans.

To prevent unnecessary suffering and deaths, please address in the EIR the bird-window collisions this structure may cause. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Regina Lazarus
Legal Fellow

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

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