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Audubon Society calls Vikings stadium 'a death trap' for birds

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Birds tend to fly into windows every now and again, some bouncing back up and flying away. And others, well, not so much.

Audubon Minnesota, the world's largest bird-focused conservation group, sent out a press release Wednesday in which it attempted to apply further pressure on the Vikings to make changes to the glass on its $1 billion stadium, which is quickly being erected near the site of the old Metrodome.

The new stadium will feature about 200,000 square feet of glass.

According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission and the Vikings have already told Audubon that it will not use special lighting to help deter birds from fatally flying into the stadium. Prior to that, the team agreed to turn off the stadium's lights during the night. But Audubon wants more.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money is going to build this stadium and the Vikings recently approved spending millions and millions of additional dollars to make sure the stadium is ‘iconic,’” Audubon executive director Matthew Anderson said in the release. “Surely they also want to make sure it’s not a death trap.”

Deadspin has a note that says Audubon was told on July 17 no further changes to create a more transparent glass stadium would be made. However, Minnesota Department of Commerce guidelines require all "bond-financed structures" to take steps to protect birds – and Minnesota's $468 million portion of the stadium bill is financed through bond sales, according to Bloomberg.

Audubon says birds die all the time as a result of unknowingly flying into glass panels. The society estimates that 125 species of migratory birds have fallen victim to glass panels in the Twin Cities since 2007. Approximately 988 million birds die annually as a result of crashing into buildings, some researchers say.

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