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Bird Strikes at Flagship Apple Store




The opening of a new Apple store is often big news. The latest flagship store, which has been opened on Michigan Avenue in Chicago has proved to be no exception. People have certainly been flocking to the store to try out the latest tablets and smartphones. Unfortunately, the stunning contemporary architecture is not very bird-friendly.

Glass Building Attracts Birds


The new store is a clear glass building and there have been a significant number of bird strikes. The situation has caught the attention of wildlife groups in the city and they have raised their concerns about the building.


The glass box design of the store has garnered rave reviews from the many human visitors but the structure attracts birds with deadly consequences. A local group of volunteers, the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, has said the design of the store is very worrying. The group travel around the downtown area of the city every morning to collect dead and injured birds. Many victims have been found at the Apple store. The glass walls are problematic but so is the fact that the lights are left on at night.

Migration Route for Birds


To make matters even worse for the birds, the store is located on the banks of the Chicago River which is an important highway for migratory species in the autumn months. The store has opened at the worst possible time of year for bird strikes.

The swanky interior of the store features trees which attract the . They can spot the tress but cannot see the clear glass and so fly straight into it.

Charities Recommend Changes


Bird enthusiasts are urging Apple to apply a film to the glass edifice so that birds can see the structure a little more easily. They are also asking the company to turn off the lights at night. The head of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation met with the store’s managers shortly after it first opened to offer help in rescuing injured birds. The charity is keen to see Apple behave responsibly towards wildlife and the environment.

For their part, Apple have said, "(We) are engaging with some local ornithological groups to look at these reports. Depending on the findings, we'll work with them on some possible solutions."

So that is as clear as mud then!

Having spent what was doubtless an enormous amount of money to build a dramatic glass building and local landmark, it is hard to imagine that Apple will be keen to change the appearance of its flagship store. But if changes are not made, further bird strikes are inevitable.

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