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San Francisco Explores 'Bird-Safe' Building Standards

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Legislation in San Francisco designed to prevent birds from deadly accidents involving high-rise windows has passed a Board of Supervisors committee and will be presented to the full board.

Proponents of the "bird-safe" building standards told the board's land use committee that clear glass window panes pose a hazard to migratory and local birds because they don't necessarily recognize that glass is in their flight pattern, resulting in dead or injured birds upon impact.

The proposed legislation would require builders to install treated windows on any new construction determined to pose a great risk to birds.

KCBS' Barbara Taylor Reports:

"They're fledgling for the first time, flying for the first time, they're smashing into windows like crazy," said Judy Irving, who cares for the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill. "It's not just migratory birds."

She spoke fondly of a parrot named Phoenix.

"We've been taking care of her for ten years now and will take care of her for the rest of her life because she has vision problems as a result of that crack with the glass wind break."

Critics described the proposed regulations as costly and vague. "During a tenuous economic climate in a city that's already very difficult to build in," added architect Emily Bello.

Ultimately, the committee approved the "bird-safe" building standards, which were forwarded to the full board for consideration.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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