Bird-Friendly Building: Designing Safer Buildings for Birds

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Every year, up to 2 billion birds die as a result of collisions with glass in the United States, a problem exacerbated by increasing light pollution around buildings and structures. In this webinar, the co-leads of the Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative and the co-authors of “Building Safer Cities for Birds” discuss bird-safe building practices, the consequences of window strikes for wild bird populations, current trends in regulations, local efforts to mitigate buildings in Connecticut, and the co-benefits of green building and bird-friendly building practices. There is a lot that architects and designers can do to help make our built environments safer for birds.

Your Presenters:

Meredith Barges

Lights Out Connecticut


Meredith Barges is a former policy researcher for the Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative. Through her work, she helps people to appreciate the complex lives of birds, how birds interact with built environments, and how our decisions about buildings and lighting affect birds. She co-authored Building Safer Cities for Birds: How Cities Are Leading the Way on Bird-Friendly Building Policy (2023), published by American Bird Conservancy and the Yale Law School. In 2023, she co-led a statewide campaign to pass Public Act No. 23-143, the “Lights Out CT bill,” which requires all state-owned building in Connecticut to shut off nonessential exterior lights from 11pm to 6am year-round for birds. She also helped convince Yale Divinity School to join Lights Out.

Viveca Morris

Yale Law School

Executive Director

Viveca Morris is the executive director of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School, a multidisciplinary initiative dedicated to addressing large-scale industrial abuses of animals and their impacts on the planet. At Yale, she has spearheaded multiple projects, including the Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative, a research initiative that aims to reduce bird collisions and accelerate the adoption of bird-friendly building design. Morris co-hosts and produces the Yale University podcast “When We Talk About Animals,” which features in-depth interviews with leading thinkers about animals and the big questions that animals raise about what it means to be human.

Kristof Zyskowski

Yale Peabody Museum

Collections Manager

Kristof Zyskowski, PhD is an internationally recognized ornithologist and researcher specializing in research in ornithology, evolutionary biology, and systematics (taxonomy). He is the Collections Manager, Vertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy, Ornithology at the Yale Peabody Museum, and also the co-lead of the grant-funded Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative, organizing bird monitoring and collecting specimens of birds that die as a result of collision on Yale University’s campus toward understanding the consequences of bird collisions and suggesting mitigation solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the causes of bird glass collisions and the many design and building-material solutions. Gain facility in bird-friendly terminology and look at bird-friendly building materials, including popular products.
  • Become familiar with current efforts in Connecticut to design bird-friendly buildings and mitigate existing buildings following industry best practices.
  • Learn about new trends in bird-friendly building policies at both the municipal and state levels, including passage of Connecticut Public Act No. 23-143 (2023), which regulates light pollution at state-owned buildings for birds.
  • Explore the many co-benefits of bird-friendly building design for green-building, including in increasing energy efficiency. thermal comfort, biophilic features, and biodiversity on site, while reducing light pollution and increasing ecosystem resilience

Continuing Education Credits

1.5 AIA HSW Approved (HSW credits available only for attending the live event)

You can self-report general CEUs for:

  • AIA
  • WELL Building Standard
  • LFA Living Future Accreditation