New Apple Store A Hazard To Birds, Rescue Group Says

(CBS) — The new Apple Store on the river downtown has impressed Apple fans and most of the architecture critics, but not everybody is happy.

WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

Thrushes, sparrows, American woodcocks; all migrate through Chicago, and all have crashed into glassy downtown buildings.

Now, there’s one more building presenting a hazard to the birds, according to Chicago Bird Collision Monitors.

“It is a new threat and a new hazard for the downtown area, in an area that already has many buildings with a lot of glass,” said Bird Collision Monitors director Annette Prince.

Dozens of migrating birds have been killed after flying into glass windows at downtown buildings in Chicago. (Credit: Chicago Bird Collision Monitors)

The group’s volunteers pick up stunned, injured, and dead birds that have hit buildings.

Prince said the new Apple Store on Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River is especially hazardous.

“Unfortunately, we’re finding that they leave the light on all night long, and we’ve reached out to Apple to talk to them. We haven’t heard back yet,” she said

A common yellowthroat warbler that struck building in downtown Chicago. (Credit: Chicago Bird Collision Monitors)

Prince said the trees in the Apple Store don’t help.

When the bird-collision group find birds that have struck buildings, about 60 percent are dead, but 40 percent are just injured and many can be helped, according to Prince.

“I’ve had volunteers call — very discouraged and disappointed — to say now there’s a new place to find birds,” Prince said.

Worse, its location along the river means seagulls hang out to prey on injured birds, sometimes before her volunteers can get there to save them.

Prince said she hopes Apple will turn off the lights at night during migration season.

A spokesperson for Apple said the company is looking into the matter.

A fox sparrow that died after striking a building in downtown Chicago. (Credit: Mary Loye)

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