Feb 27 2013
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ve been here with me when I’ve mourned the loss of yet another juvenile peregrine who died by hitting a window. We lose at least one of Pittsburgh’s young peregrines this way every year. Windows kill but now there’s a ruling in Canada that gives me hope this will change, even in the U.S.
This month Judge Melvyn Green of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled that two laws that protect birds in Canada, EPA and SARA, “are properly interpreted to prohibit the emission (intentional or unintentional) of reflected light where that reflection causes the death or injury of birds.”
In other words, massive window kills count just as much as if you’d shot the birds. Your windows are breaking the law.
The buildings that prompted the ruling are Yonge Corporate Centre, pictured above, one of many corporate centers in Toronto where thousands of birds are injured or killed each year. To their credit Yonge Corporate Centre had already begun to mitigate the problem with window film, due in part to a lawsuit by Ecojustice Canada and Ontario Nature against another deadly corporate center, Consilium Place. Click here for a photo of Consilium Place and information on the lawsuit.
“The law is now clear that owners and managers of buildings with reflective windows that kill or injure birds must take action. This is a major success, even if it’s not a complete victory,”said Ecojustice lawyer Albert Koehl.
Read more about the ruling in the American Bird Conservancy’s press release, source of the quotes above.
(photo of Yonge Corporate Center from the media page of Yonge Corporate Center website. Click on the image to see the original.)