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It’s a bad time to be a bird in Minnesota. Actually, it’s never really a good time to be a bird in Minnesota. Actually actually, there’s never really a good time or any reason for any living thing to be in Minnesota in the first place unless you’re an architectural maniac hell-bent on eradicating all birds from the state.
Congrats, Vikings. On top of having the most amazingly overrated and overpaid quarterback in the history of history (the money Sam Bradford brings in for doing the bare minimum is amazing), the Vikings now lead the NFL in bird murders.
Last year, the Vikings opened the new, $1 billion (mostly taxpayer-funded) U.S. Bank Stadium, complete with a giant shiny and glassy exterior. You’ve been around long enough to know birds sometimes slam into glass windows (thinking the sky reflected on them is real), so when you’ve got a massive stadium made of glass, bird casualties are to be expected. But to what extent? Well, a writer for City Pages says “welcome to the avian killing fields.” If that line doesn’t give you at least a half chub then I don’t know what will.
Recently, a few conservation groups took laps around the stadium to inspect the damage. Here’s how it went.
From City Pages:
Their mission was to confirm the worst: To see if the stadium, with its 200,000 square feet of clear and reflective glass, is so indistinguishable to birds that the creatures crash into it like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Over the course of the monitoring period, volunteers found 60 dead birds. Another 14 were discovered stunned, laying on the ground.
Among the casualties were 21 white-throated sparrows, nine ruby-throated hummingbirds, and one snow bunting, a.k.a., “snowflakes,” an uncommon sighting for bird-watchers like Sharpsteen, who says he’s never seen anything like this in downtown Minneapolis.
The findings, along with reports from maintenance staff and security guards, estimate that perhaps as many as 500 birds die annually as a result of the building. Even if the actual number is half that estimate, it would still make the stadium the most lethal structure for birds anywhere in Minnesota.
I know we all hate “snowflakes,” but that seems like an aggressive stance in this specific case. I initially thought maybe the birds had simply been murdered by Adrian Peterson, but scientists confirmed their deaths were window-related, not caused via switch.
The Vikings — first in bird murders, last in the standings. You’re killin’ it..
[via City Pages]
Image via YouTube