Wildlife group: New Chicago Apple store killing birds

Thousands of people are flocking to Apple's new flagship store on Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River.

Unfortunately, so are plenty of birds.

A large number of bird strikes on the clear glass building are raising concerns among Chicago wildlife groups.

Since it opened last week, apple's sleek new flagship store is drawing raves from customers. but the glass box design is also drawing birds with deadly consequences.

“Well whenever a new building goes up that has a lot of glass in it, as the Apple stores does, it raises a lot of red flags,” said Annette Prince of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors.

Annette Prince heads a group called "Chicago Bird Collision Monitors" made up of volunteers who scour the downtown area every dawn to collect dead and injured birds.

She says the new apple store is killing a large number of birds.

"We have consistently been finding birds at this location both because of the glass and the fact the lights are left on at night,” Prince said.

Making matters worse, the building is on the banks of the Chicago River, which is sort of a highway for migratory birds this time of year.

And inside the Apple store there are trees.

"And when they see the trees inside they think this is a nice refuge. And they don't see that there's something between them and that tree where they'd like to land inside the building,” Prince said.

Birding organizations say there are a couple things Apple can do right away to reduce the number of strikes on its flagship building. First, put a film on the glass so the birds can better see it. Also turn off the lights at night.

On Thursday, the head of a local wildlife group met with store managers to offer help in rescuing injured birds.

"We wanted to proactively reach out to Apple and help them, should they have a problem, be able to deal with that in a way that's responsible for the environment and responsible for the bird migration,” said Phil Hampel of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation.

An Apple spokesman says, "(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."

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