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Boston’s glass towers an increasing threat to birds, group says

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Mistake facades for open sky

Rendering via Anchor Line Partners and Jones Lang LaSalle

Aviary advocacy group Mass Audubon is concerned that plans to reclad the 41-story office building at One Post Office Square will lead to the deaths of more birds, which mistake such shiny surfaces for open sky and fly right into them.

It’s estimated that in general each skyscraper in the U.S. kills some 24 birds annually. In Boston, the instances are increasing because the number of tall, shiny towers is increasing, according to Mass Audubon.

The group raised its concerns about One Post Office Square in a letter to the Boston Planning & Development Agency. The developer behind the re-clad, Boston-based Anchor Line Partners, said it would incorporate “bird-friendly techniques” into the new facade.

Those include gray-toned glass, rather than blue, and horizontal non-reflective bands. Uninterrupted glass panes create the illusion of open sky, per the Globe’s Tim Logan.

The glassy project will not be the last in Boston. Mass Audubon therefore plans to keep raising the issue.