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Letter: Waterfront high-rise poses big risk to migratory birds

Waterfront high-rise poses big risk to migratory birds

The fate of the proposed 22-story tower on Buffalo’s waterfront will soon be decided in a court of justice. But will justice be served?

Last year, the developer became well-informed of the negative impact the structure could have on some of the thousands of migratory birds that follow Lake Erie’s shoreline to their various destinations. According to FLAP, most of these birds fly at night and are drawn to buildings’ lighted windows and killed upon impact. Also, when fog settles in from the lake, they fly at a lower elevation and their vision is reduced. In light rain, they fly at a reduced elevation and their vision is distorted, making it difficult to see buildings in the dark. (In heavy fog or heavy rain, they will land.)

This explains the approximate 25 percent reduction of migratory birds since the advent of shoreline towers, according to the SPCA. These small, charming creatures play a role in keeping nature balanced. With such common knowledge presented at the hearings, has the developer gained a sensitivity toward this issue? Or is he fixated on his Miami Beach-style tower? Whose chore will it be to remove the dead birds? Certainly not his. Fact is, the world isn’t just about us humans. Why build this tower if it presents a risk to a significant number of birds?

Judy Catalano


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