Birds Crashing Into U.S. Bank Stadium

A report from a local environmental education organization has presented evidence that Minneapolis’s new

AP Photo
– U.S. Bank Stadium
The brand-new U.S. Bank Stadium hosts its home team Minnesota Vikings, who beat the rival Green Bay Packers Sept. 18. 

The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis published a report Feb. 24 that showed 60 birds had been killed and 14 more were observed as being injured after flying into the approximate 20,000 square feet of glass during the last migration season.

“Under the right conditions, even transparent glass on buildings can form a mirror, reflecting sky, clouds, or nearby habitat attractive to birds,” the report reads. “When birds try to fly to the reflected habitat, they collide with the glass.”

The report also references a study by the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation that claimed only 7 percent of birds crashing into the structure died immediately. The observed results were an underestimation, the report claimed, as security guards and maintenance staff disposed of dead birds, scavengers quickly fed on bodies and parts of the stadium are inaccessible to monitors.

Even with the flaws in observation, the results showed the Vikings new 66,200-capacity stadium as the most deadly building to birds in the Twin Cities region.

“The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority should take immediate action to protect migrating birds from the unnecessary and preventable injuries and death documented in this study,” the report concludes. It goes on to suggest putting patterns on the glass, window films, netting, shutters, screens, shades, decals, awnings and overhangs.

The report also offers Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan and the Philadelphia Zoo’s Bear Exhibit as examples of successful retrofitting.

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 1 billion birds die after crashing into glass in the U.S. annually. Representatives from U.S. Bank stadium couldn’t be reached for comment at publication time.