Bird-Friendly Building Design

We are a proud bird-friendly community!
Therefore here are resources of how to take of our biodiversity of birds here in Brownsville.

For birds, glass windows are worse than invisible. By reflecting foliage or sky, they look like inviting places to fly into. And because the sheer number of windows is so great, their toll on birds is huge. Up to about 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year, according to a 2014 study.
In 2022 Brownsville has been diligently working to become a Bird City Texas designation and will apply to become officially certified from Audubon Texas, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s inaugural Bird City Texas certification program. This new, community-focused certification program has been created to help people protect birds and their habitats. The growing popularity of planting native plants, restoring the native prairies, bird-friendly education programs, and Visit Brownsville's program were among the many efforts and programs that will make Brownsville a Bird City Texas designation.


Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
Research indicates that up to 1 billion birds may be killed per year in the U.S. alone due to window collisions. Birds hit buildings at all hours during the day and night. At night migrating birds can be distracted by bright lights in our cities. During the day the problem is reflection or other confusing aspects of glass. The increased use of glass in our modern buildings, including large expanses of highly-glazed or ultra-clear glass, presents a serious hazard for birds. Most birds don’t perceive glass as an obstacle. Instead they see the things they know and need, such as habitat and open sky, reflected in the glazed surface or on the other side of one or more panes of glass.


For many people, birds and nature have intrinsic worth. Birds have been important to humans throughout history, often symbolizing cultural values such as peace, freedom, and fidelity. In addition to the pleasure they can bring to people, we depend on them for critical ecological functions. Birds consume vast quantities of insects and control rodent populations, reducing damage to crops and forests and helping limit the transmission of diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, and malaria. Birds play a vital role in regenerating habitats by pollinating plants and dispersing seeds. Birds are also a direct economic resource. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bird watching is one of the fastest growing leisure activities in North America, an over $40 billion industry accounting for many jobs.

American Bird Society's Bird-friendly Building Standard

It is increasingly common to see the term “bird-friendly” used to demonstrate that a product, building, or legislation is not harmful to birds. However, this term lacks a clear definition and sound scientific foundation to underpin its use. It is impossible to know exactly how many birds a building will kill before it is built, and so realistically, we cannot declare a building to be bird-friendly before it has been carefully monitored for several years. However, there are several factors that can help us predict whether a building will be harmful to birds or generally benign, and we can accordingly define simple “bird-smart standards” that, if followed, will ensure that a prospective building poses a minimal potential hazard to birds.


Lights Out, Texas!

Turn off non-essential lights at night from 11 pm - 6 am during critical migration periods.

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