NYC lawmakers vote 43-3 to require 'bird-friendly' glass

New York's City Council has voted to require "bird-friendly” glass in new buildings

NEW YORK -- New York's City Council voted 43-3 Tuesday to mandate “bird-friendly”glass in new buildings in hopes of cutting down on the tens of thousands of birds that die by flying into the city's buildings every year.

The bill, which will take effect one year after it becomes law, will require the first 75 feet of new buildings and those undergoing major renovations to be clad in materials that are visible to birds.

New York City will be the largest American city to adopt such legislation, which is similar to laws in effect in several California cities, including San Francisco and Oakland.

Conservationists estimate that 90,000 to 230,000 birds die every year flying into New York City's buildings.

“This is a staggering statistic, especially when we have a solution ready to go that can save the many lives of this vital part of our ecosystem,” said Democratic City Council Member Rafael Espinal, the sponsor of the bill.

The bill is the latest of several animal welfare measures adopted in New York City this year. The City Council voted last month to ban restaurants and grocery stores from selling foie gras, the fattened liver of a duck or goose.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said he supports the bird-friendly glass legislation.